New Jersey Lottery Has Problem Online Gambling Doesn’t: Underage Players

The New Jersey Lottery recently kicked off its “Not 18 Yet? No Bet” awareness campaign in an attempt to curb playing of lottery games by teens and children.

‘Responsible Gaming Education Week’

The lottery and the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey kicked off what is now an annual push to stop underage lottery play. It came during the American Gaming Association’s Responsible Gaming Education Week, which is Aug. 3-7.

More from the announcement:

As part of its effort, the New Jersey Lottery has developed a “Not 18 Yet? No Bet” brochure aimed at retailers and players that provides information about the major types of teen betting, as well as ways to recognize signs of a gambling problem early on. The brochure also tells concerned individuals where to go for advice and help. It is available at each of the more than 7,000 Lottery retailer locations, at all Lottery sponsored exhibits and events and through the website.

It’s not clear how many people who are underage attempt to or are successful at playing lottery games, but it’s obviously a non-zero number.

“Right now, the Council on Compulsive Gambling of NJ is in the midst of a major expansion of its community and school-based outreach programs,” CCGNJ Executive Director Neva Pryor said. “One of our focuses this year will be on preventing the onset of gambling addiction among adolescents and young adults, so the NJ Lottery’s message and support is particularly timely.”

Lottery a problem, iGaming less so

The lottery push stands in contrast to the fact that underage online gambling in New Jersey is almost a non-existent problem:

  • The forces behind the Restoration of America’s Wire Act — a bill that would ban online gambling nationwide — “has been unable to produce evidence that regulators in Nevada or New Jersey or the sites operating … allow minors.” (Story)
  • “There has not been a single documented case of underage gambling … in year one, per the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.” (Story)

Despite the success with preventing underage users in jurisdictions that have regulated iGaming, the possibility of kids gambling online is consistently a talking point for opponents, like the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling. Yet, RAWA looks to carve out state lotterys from other types of online gambling.

It’s unlikely teenagers are playing the lottery in massive numbers. But it also seems safe to assume a lot more of them are playing the lottery than are gambling online.


About the Author

Dustin Gouker

Aside from his role as editor at, Dustin Gouker writes extensively about the legal online gaming and US online poker industries, having played poker recreationally for his entire adult life. He has also covered sports for The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner, among others.