State reminder: Minors can’t buy lottery tickets or receive them as gifts

DOVER — The Delaware Lottery on Tuesday issued reminders about the illegality of minors buying tickets and the perils of receiving them as gifts from adults.

No one under age 18 can play Delaware Lottery Instant Games or Draw Games in person or online. Those under 21 can’t bet on the video lottery, sports lottery, table games, internet table games or internet video lottery, according to Delaware Code.

Urging adults to “gift responsibly this holiday season,” the Delaware Lottery cited studies correlating buying of tickets to minors potentially developing gambling problems as they grow older.

While someone 18 or older can purchase a game ticket for a juvenile 17 or younger, the Delaware Lottery advised against it. Youthful wagering is reportedly prevalent, according to the National Council on Problem Gambling, and often begins between ages 9 to 11. Roughly 80 percent of high school students claimed to have made cash bets in the past year, studies have shown.

“We take great pride in working with our retailers to ensure Delaware Lottery Games aren’t sold to minors,” Delaware Lottery Director Vernon Kirk said in a news release.

“We want to remind our customers, especially with the holidays approaching, that our games should not be purchased as gifts for children.”

The Delaware Council on Gambling Problems offers free, professional, confidential assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week at its 1-888-850-8888 helpline. A violation of age-related ticket purchases and game participation is an unclassified misdemeanor. A conviction, adjudication delinquent of or probation before judgment required five hours of counseling on problem gambling.

Cases involving those 18 and older go to the Justice of the Peace Court, with 17 and younger defendants heading to Family Court jurisdiction.

Those selling a ticket to a minor may face a misdemeanor unless “the underage person presented proof of age or photographic identification that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the underage person was over the minimum age …” or the “appearance of the underage person was such that an ordinary prudent person would believe that the person was over the minimum age required …”


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