Atlantic Lottery Corporation officials are expressing disappointment at the number of P.E.I. retailers recently caught selling lottery tickets to a minor in a mystery shopper campaign.

The corporation periodically sends out underage mystery shoppers to retailers. P.E.I. usually has a compliance rate of about 87 per cent. But this winter there was only a 65 per cent compliance rate.

Eighteen retailers got a warning and one got a five-day suspension from selling lottery tickets.

Craig Ennis, a senior communications counsel for Atlantic Lotto, said the corporation doesn't know why the compliance rate slipped.

"Right now what we're concentrating on is the what. Those are numbers that, they're not where we want them to be," said Ennis.

"Our team, the sales people, the management team, the executive, everybody at every level, wants to make sure that we fix this and get better results. And the why may come out in the thinking about it and in the reacting to it."

Ennis said the businesses that got a warning will have to go through training with Atlantic Lotto.

If a retailer continues to not comply it could mean a permanent ban from selling lottery tickets.