The Kansas Lottery is making an interesting statement about buying lottery tickets; encouraging people not to buy lottery tickets as gifts for kids.
A recent study showed that more and more people are buying scratch off lottery tickets as stocking stuffers for children... 86% of which came from a family member.
At the Heritage Restaurant in South Wichita, they sell more lottery tickets there than anywhere else in the state, but even the people we talked to here say it's probably a bad idea to buy lottery tickets as gifts for kids.
"I think it's a bad idea," said Chuck Hall as he sipped a cup of coffee at the Heritage. "It just teaches them to gamble."
Increasingly popular gifts and stocking stuffers include lottery tickets and scratch cards. they're affordable, colorful, and a potentially promising gift, but they often find their way into the hands of minors who have been given the tickets as gifts by adults. One researcher says if you buy lottery tickets for your kids, you're gambling on their future.
"We don't want to encourage our underage youth to purchase lottery tickets or to engage in gambling, but rather wait until they're of legal age and they have the ability to set and maintain their limits," said Jeffrey Derevensky of the International Center for Youth Gambling and High Risk Behaviors.
A recent study by the National Council on Problem Gambling showed that more than 80% of high school students admitted to participating in some sort of gambling activity. That's part of the reason why the Kansas Lottery is urging you not to buy lottery tickets as stocking stuffers for children.
At the Heritage, several lottery players weighed in on the issue.
"I think it depends on the parents themselves," said Greg Merritt. "If their kids are raised right, I think if their responsible, I think it's alright."
"Generally, the people that need the money the most do most of the gambling," said Chuck Hall. "It's just not a good deal, particularly in a recession."