Gambling? Not MY Child!
Monday, August 17, 2015
by Doug LaBelle, LCSW, CEAP, NCGC II
Resources for Change, Ltd.
Lottery tickets can't be sold to anyone under 18 -
right? Well, MY Child is under 18!
Casinos can't allow anyone under 21 to gamble - right?
Well, MY Child is under 21!
Online gambling is not allowed for anyone under 21-
right? Well, MY Child is under 21!
So, MY Child can't gamble - RIGHT ? !
By definition, gambling involves the betting of money or
something of value with the possibility/hope/expectation to gain
more money or more things of value.
While many parents truly believe that gambling is an adult
activity and that their children just don't gamble, facts and
realities provide a different picture.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes gambling as
a problem among children and has produced a pamphlet about this
issue titled "Gambling: Not a Safe Thrill."
Teen gambling seldom involves casinos or race
tracks. Rather, teen gambling can involve:
- Poker, other card games and dice in basements and other
- Betting on sporting events of all kinds
- Lottery tickets including Scratch Offs
- Games of "skill" including video games and other types of
- Online gambling including poker, keno, slots, etc.
Research has shown that gambling most commonly begins
around the age of 14 and that by 19, 78% of teens are gambling in
some form. In addition, problem gambling increases
consistently during teen years going from 1.3% of teens ages 14-15
to 3.4% of teens ages 18-19.
In fact, National U.S. surveys have consistently shown
that gambling involvement increases throughout the teenage years,
becomes prevalent at a much earlier age than drinking and that more
teens gamble than drink.
While most parents are aware that their teens are online
and involved with Social Media, the reality of this involvement is
somewhat amazing - 92% of teens report going online daily - including
24% who say they go online "almost constantly," according
to a new study from Pew Research Center.
While most of this online activity does not involve
gambling, it can be a risk factor for teenage gambling.
Recent studies show that simulated gambling is common
among teens and can include various online games such as Grand
Theft Auto V, Pokemon, Zynga Poker and Slotomania.
Research has also shown that monthly use of online
gambling sites increased for both high school age male students
(2.7% in 2008 to 6.2% in 2010) and college age male students (4.4 %
in 2008 to 16% in 2010).
Other risk factors include having parents with gambling
problems, an earlier age of first gambling activity, greater
impulsivity and various maladaptive coping strategies.
Parents can play a vital role in reducing some of the risk
factors associated with teen problem gambling by using standard,
yet important, parenting techniques. These include
maintaining an appropriate level of parental monitoring of teen
activity and behavior, including financial and online behavior, and
consistently setting and holding to limits and
Kids do gamble and
parents can do something about it - Be
Caring, Supportive and Informed Parents
about Gambling and Your Child!