New Jersey has kicked off its annual awareness campaign about prohibiting minors from buying lottery tickets.

New Jersey Lottery Executive Director Carole Hedinger (l.) and NJ Council on Compulsive Gambling Executive Director Donald Weinbaum (Photo credit New Jersey Lottery)

The campaign is called "Not 18 Yet? No Bet." It seeks to remind residents about the ban on lottery ticket sales to those under 18.

"We train our retailers not to sell to minors," said New Jersey Lottery Executive Director Carole Hedinger. "They're all aware of the age requirements."

Hedinger said signs are prominently displayed at all New Jersey Lottery retail outlets, and store operators have remote control overrides for lottery machines in the event a minor tries to access one of them.

She said the campaign also will reach into schools in September with the "Not 18 Yet? No Bet" message.

Jeff Beck of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey said that while underage gambling is not a major problem here, it also cannot be ignored.

"We think the campaign is an important one," he said. "It's something that should not be taken lightly."

Beck said the Council's research on problem gambling has found that many people who wind up with a compulsion say it began for them at a very early age, possibly as young as 10 years old.

New Jersey's campaign coincides with the American Gaming Association's annual responsible gaming education week, also taking place this week.

More information about underage gambling, and the campaign, is available by clicking here.