By Kim Glovas

HAMILTON, NJ (CBS) – Buying lottery tickets as holiday gifts is okay, but the New Jersey Council on Compulsive Gambling and the New Jersey Lottery say not if the recipient is a child.

Donald Weinbaum is executive director of New Jersey’s Council on Compulsive Gambling.

He says many times, adults buy the lottery tickets because it’s easy.

“Lottery tickets, particularly scratch off tickets, make quick, low-cost gifts, many kids do report receiving them. Many parents tell me that they’ve given gifts to children without thinking.”

But, he says it may be cheap and it may be easy to get, but lottery tickets are not appropriate gifts for children.

“Among problem gamblers, virtually all of them start gambling with their family, many of them start gambling early, it could be 9-10 years of age. Any form of gambling if it’s engaged in early, starts to plant the seed for possible future problems.”

New Jersey law says you have to be 18 to buy lottery tickets, but it does not prohibit giving tickets to kids. The council is working with the New Jersey Lottery this season to discourage gifting lottery tickets to children.

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