The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
4 Points

Should you have to be above 18 to buy lottery tickets?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/1/2015 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 780 times Debate No: 67735
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




I will allow the pro stance to give a brief first.


You need to be 18 to gamble in any shape and form, in fact in USA it is 21 for almost all other forms of gambling in some states. In Iowa is it actually 21 for lottery tickets themselves).

It would be a major inconsistency in the law if the very minimum of any other law of informed consent for mentally healthy human citizens of a nation was suddenly undercut in the case of a lottery ticket (other than sexual which is 16 or 17 in some state).

If this is referring to a nation such as the UK, the age of gambling is still 18 there.
Debate Round No. 1


Yes I am referring to age 18 as I am a Canadian, sorry about that confusion.

For starters the economic growth from lottery tickets is incredible, allowing for spending in education, health care, roads, infrastructure and so on. Many lottery companies in Canada have a certain percentage that is given to charities, therefore if children used their own allowance or work money to buy lottery tickets we would see a major increase of ability to expand our publicly funded systems.

This link is a 2013 webpage of charity lottery sales throughout Canada...

Next is a couple of links of ways US states use the lottery profits..

If you would like to see more you can just Google them, however as you can see on the links over half of all profits are spent in the public education region, as well as a small fraction going to a troubled gamblers association. If we opened this up to the youth and teens across the world we would be able to spend much more in our areas that need developing. Whether that be education or health care, we would see a massive growth in state profits.

If teens started to see that they were losing their money, this would give them incentive to get a part time job somewhere, thus giving them a strong work ethic, and allowing them to see how fast you can lose money and why you need to save your money.

Having an age limit on things, as we can see whether it be drinking or other things, teens still have the same access to it as if they were 18 or 19. Being in high school I see kids in grade 10 giving $50 to a 18 year old grade twelve student so he can buy him a scratch ticket or some beer for the weekend party. Thus what difference would it make?

As you can see I base my arguments off of economics and profit, which is what it comes down to in society, and how we expand our knowledge of things.


The age of majority in Canada fluctuates between 18 and 19 depending on the province. [1] The age of majority is formally defined as the age at which a person, formerly a minor or an infant, is recognized by law to be an adult, capable of managing his/her own affairs and responsible for any legal obligations created by his/her actions. [2] Thus, until the age of either 18 or 19, no individual should be allowed to do anything that is considered to require adult consent. Both 19 and 18 fall under the '18 and above' spectrum which is what the resolution meant when it said 'above 18'. Whether the debate is in Canada or USA, the resolution holds true as do absolutely all of my Round 1 arguments which have actually remained relatively untouched by Con's Round 2 debate.

What Con has proven is that money helps people, including governments, buy things they couldn't without that money. It proves nothing more and nothing less. This is something that I totally agree to. What I also agree to is that a child using their parent's money, or even their own at 15-17, and wasting it all on gambling is a surefire way of forcing the government to spend the money they wish they could be spending on healthcare on the benefits for these impoverished fools who forgot to invest when the time was right and are without a place to live as their rent was too high as they risked it all on a lottery ticket. The law doesn't recognize children as even being capable of consent in the first place. To deny this is to completely misrepresent what the Age of Majority is meant to signify in the first place.

The argument that losing money would encourage teens to get a part-time job is hilarious in the highest degree. Not only does this simply that the money they were using to begin with was their parent/guardian's but it furthermore assumes that those aged below 15-16 (depending on province/state) who cannot legally work at all should be allowed to gamble in order to get the motivation by that age. In other words, Con expects children to waste someone else's money and then from this get the motivation to work in order to afford more tickets to waste their money on. This makes absolutely no sense, not because it isn't true but because it isn't sensible for a government to want all young people who happen to be addicted to lottery gambling to be bankrupt and kicked out of their homes in anger by the time they turn 18. Young people are more susceptible to gambling addiction than older ones and the hill is far steeper in the younger years as young teens, especially males, have extreme hormonal inability to maintain impulsivity.[3][4][5]

My opponent finishes off his Round 2 debate by attempting to expose a loophole in the law which, in reality is not a loophole at all. In the example of the child offering an older person to purchase illegal items for someone of their age on their behalf, there are 2 errors at hand which end up canceling each other out. The first is that the child's guardian at the time, whether they are in the school's custody, parent's custody or babysitter's care, is permitting the child to give this money (as lack of prevention is de facto permission). The second error, which cancels out the first, is that the 18+ year old is committing a crime the moment that they use the purchased item on the child's behalf. If they took the money form the child and used it to buy an item and then refused to give the child the item, they couldn't even be labeled a thief as the child's legal guardian at the time had allowed that money to be on the child and had left the child unmonitored for that period of time and should have known the risk. It is thus concluded that the only criminal here could be the 18 year old and that the guardian of the child is a bystander of the crime if the guardian or shopkeeper (or anyone) so happens to prosecute.

Debate Round No. 2


Just because the state or province has a legal age does not mean that cannot be purchased using a fake ID. In fact a teenager in Toronto tested this, check out the link.

This link shows how underage winners can be responsible with their winnings.

Where I live we have vending machines that give out scratch tickets. A kid in my school who has a fake ID was purchasing those tickets when the cashier lady yelled at him he pulled out his fake ID and she was ok, he then won 500 dollars on 200 dollars worth of scratch tickets. This was his own money that he earned... So should the parents be prosecuted for this because he is under 18???? Of course NOT, it was his money and he has the right to do what he wants to do with it. While I disagree with gambling I would not want to restrict him from possibly losing that money or making profit. It is his choice to do what he wants with his money. He knew he could lost that 200 dollars but he was willing to risk it.

If I wished to gamble, I know I would be ready to say when to stop. However many 18 year old ADULTS go broke because they have never been able to gamble for various reasons. Number 1 reason being the legal age. Also who is to decide when a brain is fully developed?

Going back to when you stated "The only criminal here could be the 18 year old."- I think that's the funniest line ever. So you are telling me if a 15 year old boy killed to people the only criminals could be the parents or guardians? If that were the case why have juvenile prisons?? Lets just arrest the adults for the kids crime. The reason being is that the brain is not fully developed.


My opponent completely concedes to the concept of age of majority and that states have a valid legal age at which consent should be given. After conceding to this, he states that because the law can be broken via fake IDs, it should not be enforced at all. using this logic, because murder can occur using a necklace as a wire around a neck to strangle someone to death, the fact that the government doesn't an all necklaces and is incapable to ban some guns and weapons spreading around, murder should be legalized since it happens anyway. In fact, any crime that is happening at all despite the law banning it being in place should just be legalized since it can happen anyway. This is completely and utterly fallacious thinking since there is not a single law in place that cannot be broken 'anyway'.

Con then supplies us with a link [] to a father giving his 19-year-old daughter two scratch cards as a birthday present, one which was a winner of $4 million dollars. I'm not sure in what universe 19 is underage for gambling in USA or Canada but it sure isn't this one. Aside from that, 19 is above 18 which is specifically what the resolution is referring to here.

Following this, my opponent describes a child at his school purchasing scratch cards illegally. What exactly is a school, where a minuscule minority of its population are 18 , doing with a scratch card vending machine in the first place? Also, why didn't the school prosecute this child for a juvenile offense? Either the school is at fault for knowingly placing a scratch card vending machine, which should only ever be place din a pub or club, where everyone present is of legal gambling age in the first place? This is all a huge mystery. Aside form this, my opponent seems to forget that juvenile prisons exist and that underage offenders are sent to them. This is only in situations where the offender was actively disobeying the guardian's direct orders or wishes and the guardian at the time, whether it's the school or parents, can prove that they were unable to prevent it.

Now, comes the classic argument of 'if adults make bad decisions why not just let kids make them too'? The fact is that legally an under-18-year-old is literally considered incapable of consenting to gambling in an informed manner. there is absolutely no way the law can say "we think you are incapable of consenting to gambling and make informed decisions in all cases other than lottery tickets". So The same 12 year old who is winning a million dollars scratching cards by wasting their parents money and risking losing it all, is not allowed to use that same money on a blackjack game where they could learn to count cards or at the very least have a strategy (which occurs in both poker and blackjack). It is basically allowing one of the least rational, least probable ways to gamble and win money while banning the very same aged individuals from gambling in more strategic ways where they can actually use their wits to increase chances of walking away than more money than they started with.

Con misconstrues my argument about the 18 year old being the actual criminal in the situation. The fact is this: The person given the money is of full age of consent to say 'no, I do not consent to purchasing this lottery ticket for you'. Instead, If they choose to do it and then give it to the child, they are a criminal and the child is in no way whatsoever a criminal as they are not considered mature enough, by law, to resists the impulsive urge to purchase the product. There is no way to draw this parallel to a minor murdering two people. There are such things as juvenile prisons, and ver real juvenile sentences for murder. Stop going to extreme anomalies to prove your point, Con, it's getting real old real fast.
Debate Round No. 3


So first off, sorry for the confusion... The lottery ticket vending machine is not at our school. It is at a local supermarket.

"There is no way to draw this parallel to murder."- Meanwhile In your first paragraph you are talking about someone being murdered by a necklace. Now remember these are your words... You can't draw this argument parallel to murder- so why are YOU doing the exact same thing?

"I'm not sure what universe 19 is underage for gambling in USA or Canada?"- Well sorry for the confusion but in YOUR opening statement YOU stated...

"In fact in USA it is 21 for almost all other forms of gambling in some states. In Iowa is it actually 21 for lottery tickets themselves)."

So when I made that statement I guess I was part of your universe.

When my friend bought the scratch tickets he never asked his mom for consent, so really he is not disobeying his guardians because they never said "no." Therefore by this logic you are then saying if a kid steals from his parents wallet, but he did not ask for consent he isn't really "actively disobeying them" and therefore should not be charged.


The necklace example was to show that the fact a crime can happen anyway isn't a reason to remove the ban on it. You compared murder to asking an 18+ year old to buy a ticket for you when you are too young and immature to consent to gambling in the legal sense of consent.

You have been dropping every point you raise that I counter and have failed to counter any of mine.

The girl, who was 19, was of legal age to gamble in her Province. She was not underage and so your point is invalid. It is mentioned that she is in Chicago, which is located in Illinois and the legal age from which one can gamble there is 18.[1]

When your friend went to a supermarket and illegally purchased scratch cards, he should be severely warned and have a criminal record for purchasing an illegal ID card. If he had had no fake ID card and then done it, he would probably just get off with a light warning (in fact it would be the shop's security who would be arrested unless the shop failed to explicitly tell them to guard the age restricted machine. So the parents are not to blame here, the fake Id producer and the child are as a child (especially one capable of passing for 18+, so probably 16 or1 7) is considered able to comprehend the law of fraud.

Debate Round No. 4


Hunts forfeited this round.


Alright, ladies gentlemen and sexually funky individuals of this wonderful world... I will now give you the overview of what you just saw and read.

I come in full blast saying how the age at which one can consent to gambling is minimum 18 in this world, so to lower it just for the sake of lottery tickets is absurd especially when more rational gambling styles such as Blackjack and Poker exist.,

To combat this entirely flawless argument, Con attempts to say that because you can use fake IDs to overcome it, it is automatically pointless to make it illegal. I explained how any law can be broken so unless Con is supporting full-fledged anarchy, he/she must concede this to be false. Con dropped it like a hot potato.

In actual fact Con has made 0 arguments supporting their case and 0 unrebuked rebuttals against mine. this is actually a flawless victory.

Thank you for reading.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Hunts 2 years ago
Sorry about this but the other half of my arguement was not posted.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF. I think that pro sufficiently proved that children aren't capable of the responsibilities related to gambling, which is why they should not be able to buy lottery tickets.