The Louisiana Department of Health is warning parents not to buy lottery tickets, scratch-offs, or other gambling games for their children as stocking stuffers this holiday season.
The reasoning behind the warning? LDH says “the odds of a win are very small when stacked against the odds of developing a gambling addiction.”
A study released by the LDH Office of Behavioral Health, details the most recent gambling statistics among students in grades 6, 8 10 and 12. In the study, students reported playing bingo for money and betting on sports, cards, dice and games of skill.
According to LDH, the study also reports that among the highest gambling incidences were 20.2% of sixth-graders playing bingo for money, 19.7% of eighth-graders betting on sports and 19.4% of eighth-graders playing bingo for money — or roughly 1 in 5 students participating in some form of gambling.
LDH adds that adults with gambling problems have shown that the earlier a person begins gambling, the more likely they are to develop a gambling problem, especially when scoring a big win at a young age.
“This holiday, if you are considering giving a lottery ticket or scratch-off to a child as a gift, be a Scrooge and DON’T give lottery tickets as a gift,” said Kenneth Saucier, program manager with the Office of Behavioral Health. “Scratch-off cards might seem like a cheap, fun and harmless gift, but that’s not the case. Any games of chance can increase risk factors for an addiction problem further down the road.”