Instant lottery tickets are only available for adults.

SPRINGFIELD (Ill.) - The holidays bring many gift ideas. For stocking stuffers, the Illinois lottery is a favorite. We think "One little scratch-off ticket won't hurt," when it comes to kids.

The Illinois Association for Behavioral Health is promoting awareness about the dangers of giving lottery products to minors through its program, Focus Youth Gambling Prevention. The campaign will provide information about gift responsibly, which discourages adults from gifting tickets to children, as well as suggestions for gifts.

"Our message is simple: lottery tickets should only be given to adults," Sarah Martin (Focus Youth Gambling's Prevention Coordinator). Focus is participating in this campaign because of research linking early gambling exposure to problem gambling and other risky behavior.

The Illinois Department of Human Services is funding the initiative of the Illinois group. It was organized by the National Council on Problem Gambling and the International Center for Youth Gambling Problems.

Keith Whyte, Executive Director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, says that the data proves it. The evidence clearly shows that gambling exposure as a teenager increases the likelihood of developing gambling problems later in life. No matter what season it is, adults need to find other gifts for their children than lottery tickets.