New OLG lottery game may pose a problem for millennials, experts say

(Andrew Malone / Flickr)

(Andrew Malone / Flickr)

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. announced that inter-provincial agencies are looking to create a new lottery game aimed at appealing to a younger demographic. Experts say this could be detrimental to the millennial generation.

A Ryersonian article from October 2013 explained that “young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 are two to three times more likely to develop a gambling problem.” Danielle Ayee, a representative of  Know the Score 2, an interactive gaming awareness program said, “at this age, they’re greater risk-takers and experiment with new things like sex and drugs. We found gambling is also one of those things.”

Sasha Stark, who completed her PhD in sociology at University of Toronto, specializes in problem gambling. She said studies show that adults aged 18-24 have the highest risk of developing gambling problems as they transition into adulthood.

As The Ryersonian reported earlier this week, the Interprovincial Lottery Corp. and its select agencies are grouping together to create a lottery game similar to Lotto 6/49 for people under the age of 35.

Stark believes that OLG knows what games the millennial generation enjoys and will create a lottery game which reflects this. 

“OLG taps into games as high excitement so student-aged participants would be attracted to games similar to ones they already play,” Stark said. “I can see this new lottery game doing that too.”

Students have expenses such as tuition, OSAP loans, food, and commuting costs. Losing sight of financial priorities could become detrimental for students, Stark said.

Jazelle Nicholson, a first year Creative Industries student at Ryerson, only buys lottery tickets a couple of times a year, but said that she would be more inclined to buy if a game was involved.

“A prime example is Roll Up the Rim,” she said. “It’s easy and rewarding. Look at the winning ratio; 1 in 4. I like those odds.”

She said that a lottery game could become addictive. “You know our generation, we’re competitive and we like to win. We won’t stop until we do.”

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