Lottery tickets and scratch-offs can be a convenient, cheap grab during the holiday shopping rush, but they may not be the most appropriate gift for everyone on your list.

Adults are advised to steer away from giving lottery tickets to underage recipients this holiday season. (Facebook)

According to Donald Weinbaum, Executive Director at the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, many kids have reported receiving lottery tickets for birthdays and holidays.

The legal age to make a lottery purchase is 18, but nothing prohibits adults from giving tickets to underage recipients.

"Giving tickets to children sends the wrong message," Weinbaum said. "There's evidence coming out that children who begin gambling at a young age have an increased risk when they get into adulthood."

Weinbaum also pointed to statistics that claim many compulsive gamblers start early, at 10 to 11 years old.

The Council's warning has been delivered in years past, with help from the New Jersey Lottery. The Lottery's "Not 18 Yet? No Bet" Awareness Campaign launched this summer, promoting responsible play and discouraging underage gambling of any kind.

Weinbaum said many parents admit they've handed lottery tickets to children without thinking about the potential consequences.

"A big win is something that can also be a risk factor," added Weinbaum. "Think first, and just consider the age of the child when you're giving a gift."