New Jersey Lottery Is Form of Gambling, Ticket Purchases By Minors Illegal

Posted on: September 6, 2021, 09:00h. 

Last updated on: September 7, 2021, 08:39h.

The New Jersey Lottery’s (NJL) initiative to prevent underage gambling has kicked off in the Garden State. Some say the campaign is needed because of the increasing number of minors who are either playing the lottery or gambling.

Many adults do not see buying of lottery tickets as gambling
The New Jersey Lottery logo, pictured above. The state’s lottery has launched a campaign to prevent minors from buying lottery tickets. (Image: New Jersey Lottery)

In response, officials have come up with the “Not 18 Yet? No Bet” awareness campaign. It reminds retailers and New Jersey residents alike that anyone under the age of 18 cannot purchase lottery tickets. The campaign is sponsored by the NJL and the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey (CCGNJ).

Felicia Grondin, acting executive director of the CCGNJ, explained the campaign is important because “children and teens are gambling when they play the lottery, and that underage gambling is illegal.”

There have been incidents of this occurring, which is why this awareness program was established,” Grondin told

To curb such activities, retailers are given a device that lets them shut down a lottery machine if a minor is seen trying to purchase lottery tickets, she added.

Risk for Later Gambling

She also cited studies that show that in New Jersey over the past 10 years, between 12 and 22 percent of middle school students report having gambled at least one time in the prior 12 months. That is illegal.

Research has also shown that approximately 4 to 5 percent of youth, ages 12-17, meet one or more criteria for having a gambling problem,” Grondin added.

Adults have a key role to curb gambling among minors.

The younger individuals begin gambling, the more likely they are to develop problems with gambling later in life, Lia Nower, director of Rutgers University’s Center for Gambling Studies, told

Nower is not a fan of the awareness campaigns, however. She says simply showing a catchy phrase does not change behavior. Instead, she recommends limit-setting tools attached to online products and responsible gambling measures in retail stores to curb underage lottery gambling.

Adults Don’t See Lottery Tickets as Gambling

“The biggest problem with lottery tickets is that adults don’t think they are gambling,” Nower said. “A lot of parents give them to kids as gifts — like in their Christmas stockings — long before they go to buy them on their own.”

The state’s lottery has distributed a “Not 18 Yet? No Bet” brochure. It is available at more than 7,000 New Jersey lottery retail locations or can be downloaded.

Parents who suspect their child has a gambling problem also can call 1-800-GAMBLER for assistance.