Stores keep selling lotto tickets to under-18s: survey
By Ann Yu, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Although most lottery retailers acknowledge that the government prohibits the sale of lottery tickets to those under the age of 18, the Consumers' Foundation (CF) has discovered that 100 percent of retailers surveyed still sold tickets to underage customers.
February 12, 2013, 3:45 am TWN
Under the Public Welfare Lottery Issue Act, executives or employees of the Issuing Institute, the Delegated Organization and retail establishments are forbidden from selling lottery tickets or paying out prizes to anyone under 18.
Nevertheless, the CF has acknowledged that they have received calls from parents reporting retailers selling teenagers lottery tickets.
In a survey of 80 retailers, 100 percent were found to be selling tickets to underage customers, although 80 percent clearly displayed signs reading: “No ticket selling to those under 18 years of age.”
In addition, 98 percent of the retailers did not ask for the customer's age. Of the two shops with employees who asked for the buyer's age, only one hesitated after hearing that the buyer was younger than 18. But the retailer mistook an adult standing behind the underage customer as accompanying him, so still sold the ticket, the CF said.
As for the 80 percent of retailers with signs saying that serving those under 18 is prohibited, shops in Central Taiwan generally displayed them, while about 50 percent of shops in North Taiwan displayed them.
Are the signs just there for decoration, the CF asked.
Under the lottery act, those who sell tickets to underage buyers are subject to a fine of between NT$30,000 and NT$250,000, according to the foundation.
Repeat offenders may be handed a fine five times more than the first.
The CF said that it is understandable to want to buy lottery tickets, especially during the holidays, but it reminded the public that lottery is still a form of gambling and age restrictions on it must be enforced.
As for some adults who put lotto tickets into red envelopes for their children, the CF said that it discourages such actions since it may cloud children's judgment and lead them to believe that buying lotto tickets is a common and harmless matter.