Lottery tickets may seem like a good stocking stuffer or Hanukkah gift, but you might want to avoid giving them to the kids.

Kids who get instant lottery tickets as a gift have a greater risk of developing gambling problems, says Donald Weinbaum, executive director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey.

"In compulsive gamblers, the brain circuits show abnormalities," he said. "And since they're still forming in adolescents, the later that a child holds off on gambling of any kind the more protective it's going to be."

Weinbaum says some problem gamblers began gambling when they were 10 or 11 years old. He says parents can set their kids on the right path to becoming responsible adults by finding a more appropriate gift than a scratch-off ticket.