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CHICAGO – The Illinois Lottery and the Illinois Council on Problem Gambling (ICPG) are joining forces this holiday season to remind players that lottery tickets are not suitable gifts for children.

“Gifting instant tickets is very popular among our players during the holiday season,” said Harold Mays, Illinois Lottery Acting Director. “We want to keep that tradition alive, but also want to prevent the tickets from ending up in the hands of minors. That is why the Illinois Lottery continues to take a lead role in encouraging players to gift responsibly during the holiday season and throughout the year.”

The Illinois Lottery and ICPG are participating in the Gift Responsibly campaign organized by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) and the International Center for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University.

More than 80 lotteries and community organizations around the globe are participating in the Gift Responsibly campaign this holiday season to increase public awareness on the impact and inappropriateness of giving lottery products as gifts to minors.

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“The Gift Responsibly Campaign aims to educate players about the potential consequences associated with underage lottery play,” said Bill Johnson, ICPG Administrator. “Research shows that exposure to gambling as a youth is linked to gambling problems later in life. Regardless of what time of year it is, adults should find gift options for children other than lottery tickets.”

In addition to the Gift Responsibly campaign, the Illinois Lottery promotes responsible play year-round by reminding players to Be Smart, Play Smart®. Players are encouraged to play for fun, not funds, and to set a budget and stick to it. For more information on how to gift and game responsibly, please go to the Illinois Lottery website and visit the Responsible Gaming page.

About the Illinois Lottery:

The Illinois Lottery has contributed over $22 billion (since 1985) to the state’s Common School Fund to assist K-12 public schools, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars to the Capital Projects Fund and to special causes like Illinois Veterans services, the fight against breast cancer, MS and Alzheimer’s research, Special Olympics, police memorials and assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS. For more information, visit

About the Illinois Council on Problem Gambling:

ICPG’s mission is to increase public awareness about gambling disorders, provide information and resources related to treatment for those with a gambling disorder and their families, promote research, and develop and implement gambling disordered education and prevention programs in the State of Illinois.

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