New York Lottery Starts Training Retailers to Prevent Underage Players
Posted on: October 21, 2022, 12:07h.
Last updated on: October 21, 2022, 10:35h.
The New York Lottery earlier this month rolled out a new training initiative designed to help its retailers understand the need to prevent underage people from playing the game.
Besides listing acceptable forms of identification, the lottery’s training program also helps clerks understand the differences between a real ID and a fake one. It uses materials developed by the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries. Those provide techniques retailers can employ to work with customers typically not used to showing identification for a lottery ticket.
Lottery retailers are the first line of defense in the prevention of both underage and at-risk play,” New York Lottery Director Gweneth Dean said in a statement. “This training, along with other tools we provide, gives businesses the ability to confidently serve of-age patrons.”
The training is being offered through the Lottery’s retailer portal, although some larger retailers will incorporate it into their broader training.
Per New York regulations, lottery retailers must have age verification and responsible gaming signage provided by the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) placed in highly visible spots within their stores. The lottery also became the first to implement a QR code on scratch-off tickets that can connect players with information regarding problem gambling services near their location.
Players must be at least 18 years of age to buy a lottery ticket in New York. They must also be 21 years old to purchase a quick draw ticket in an establishment where liquor or other alcoholic drinks are served.
Key Senator Likes Lottery Action
The lottery initiative drew praise from state Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Queens), who chairs the Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee.
Addabbo said that the lottery’s measures to prevent underage gambling were consistent with the steps he and other lawmakers called for when mobile sports betting was legalized last year in New York.
Our team put in place safeguards to prevent underage gaming, such as when opening an account with a mobile sports betting platform, players are required to upload their ID to confirm their age and other technical protections against underage gambling,” the senator said.
Addabbo added that as he works on a bill to allow online casino gaming in the state for next year’s legislative session, he will look to include similar measures to keep those under 21 from being able to access the gaming apps.
Why Underage Betting is a Concern
In addition to underage gambling being an illegal activity, there are also responsible gambling issues associated with teens and adolescents who gamble.
According to the National Center for Responsible Gaming, studies indicate gamblers who start when they’re younger are more likely to develop gambling addictions or other problem gambling issues.
The NCRG estimates that between 2% and 7% of youth suffer from gambling addiction, compared to 1% of adults. Potentially up to 15% of teens and younger children are likely to develop less severe gambling problems, compared to about 3% of adults.
That’s why it’s important to keep kids from being able to buy lottery tickets or go online to bet, Addabbo said.
“By not allowing underage people to participate in mobile gaming, we are protecting minors from spending their money or their parents’ money on gambling, from potentially developing problem gaming habits, while protecting the integrity of gaming in the state,” he said.
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