(WTRF) – No matter how hard we try, most of us will still need a few quick last minute small gifts. 

Stocking stuffers like lottery tickets might seem like a good idea, but if you plan to gift them to someone under 18, think again. 

The Problem Gambling Help Network of West Virginia says they’re especially concerned with gift cards for sports betting. 

The group conducted a survey with more than 700 of the state’s middle and high school students. 

It found that many of them already showed signs of a gambling addiction. 

We know that there are parents that sign their kids up for those accounts. You’re not supposed to have an account like that until they’re an adult. So, maybe giving those gift cards like ‘here’s some free money’ and kids just don’t understand that. A lot of times they think free money and they think this is risk free, but it’s not really risk free.

Sheila Moran, Director of Marketing & Communication, First Choice Services

Moran explained that an early win like that is where many people face problems. She said kids may think gambling is an easy way to make money. That’s a message that 1-800-GAMBLER tries to teach students during its education programs, but Moran said sometimes kids struggle to see it as entertainment instead of an investment strategy.

Video games can also have gambling mechanisms hidden in them that do cost money.

Sometimes parents will think ‘this is no big deal they’re spending $5 $10 a month on this’, but they don’t realize that over time what happens is people who do develop a gambling addiction, they bet more and more and it becomes a much more serious addiction later on.

Sheila Moran, Director of Marketing & Communication, First Choice Services

While it is important to make sure to not gift any gambling-related gifts to children, it’s also critical to make sure you’re not giving them to a recovering gambler.

Moran advised to make sure you really know the adult if you do give them lottery tickets. It’s not always an appropriate gift for someone you don’t know well.

You certainly wouldn’t want to give someone like that a gambling ticket just the same way you wouldn’t give somebody a bottle of beer who’s a recovering alcoholic.

Sheila Moran, Director of Marketing & Communication, First Choice Services

If you or someone you know is struggling with gambling, call 1-800-GAMBLER or visit 1800gambler.net.

Someone is available 24/7, even on Christmas Day.