The New York State Gaming Commission, together with the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) and the New York Council on Problem Gambling (the Council) – who collectively comprise New York’s Responsible Play Partnership (RPP) – have introduced a new public service campaign that asks consumers to take greater responsibility for their Lottery gift-giving decisions. The RPP cited what it called a link between early gambling exposure and the development of problem gambling-related issues later in life as the inspiration for its latest advocacy collaboration.
“The Lottery takes great care to remind players that you must be 18 years or older to purchase a scratch-off ticket,” Lottery Director Gweneth Dean said. “This campaign provides a good opportunity for us to educate players, retailers and gift givers about the importance of discouraging underage lottery play in light of industry research illustrating underaged gamblers have a greater likelihood to develop gambling problems later in life.”
The multimedia awareness campaign, titled “Responsibility is Always A Bright Idea,” urges adults to “Never gift Lottery tickets to kids,” and enlists the public’s help to “Let’s all do our part to make sure kids have a vibrant future.”
OASAS Executive Deputy Commissioner Sean Byrne said, “OASAS is proud to join members of NY’s Responsible Play Partnership in this public awareness campaign to ensure that young people under 18 years of age do not engage in Lottery playing or any other gambling activities. Delaying the onset of gambling can help prevent future problem gambling.”
Council Executive Director Jim Maney shared that "for kids, who are at higher risk of developing a problem, Lottery play isn't harmless or appropriate. We hope people will hear the message this year and take individual responsibility to prevent underage gambling problems."
The campaign, inspired by the National Council on Problem Gambling’s annual “Gift Responsibly” advocacy initiative, is designed to be an evergreen reminder that, the state bodies said, “while Lottery games may be a fun gift for a birthday, anniversary or other adult celebration at any time of year, they are never appropriate gifts for anyone under the age of 18.”
Elements of the “Responsibility is Always a Bright Idea” advocacy campaign, which include TV, radio, out of home, retail and social media, as well as direct messaging on Lottery draw game products and scripts, will air in December to coincide with the holiday shopping season. In addition, the RPP has enlisted the help of New York’s Thruway Authority, Department of Motor Vehicles and Office of General Services to display campaign materials at the travel plazas, offices and public spaces under their care.
This is the eighth consecutive year the Gaming Commission and its RPP colleagues have championed the “Gift Responsibly” initiative. The global “Gift Responsibly” program is endorsed by the World Lottery Association, which, in 2019, certified the Gaming Commission at the highest level for “its demonstrated ability to incorporate responsible play into its day-to-day operations and for its commitment to continuous improvement.”
The state said, “If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling problem, help can be found 24/7 at the NYS Hopeline: 1-877-8-HOPENY or you can contact your regional Problem Gambling Resource Center: https://nyproblemgamblinghelp.org/.”