Will the Arkansas Lottery be selling lottery tickets to university students this Saturday? That’s a question raised by a press release from Lottery officials.
Earlier this year the Arkansas Lottery secured funding to do promotional activities on college campuses in Arkansas. We asked, at that time, if the Lottery meant to sell lottery tickets to students. Yesterday, Lottery officials elaborated on their plans, saying that this weekend “[s]tudents, parents, faculty, alumni and football fans attending select home games can stop by the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery pre-game celebration area for games, giveaways and information about the scholarship program.”
Now, one has to ask just what types of “games” and “giveaways” they mean. Will they include lottery tickets?
This is important, because research consistently indicates teens and young adults are among those most prone to develop gambling problems.
Lottery officials may think that if they get college students to start buying lottery tickets now, those students will be lottery “customers” for years to come. However, micro-targeting teens and young adults is irresponsible. It has the potential to create more gambling addiction and could lead to ruined lives, down the road.
We’ll probably know more about the Lottery’s intentions after Saturday. In the meantime, we will continue to monitor this situation.