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 hangouts
  • Betting on sporting events of all kinds
  • Lottery tickets including Scratch Offs
  • Games of "skill" including video games and other types of online games
  • 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 boundaries.

Kids do gamble and parents can do something about it - Be Caring, Supportive and Informed Parents about Gambling and Your Child!

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Meet the newest team member to the WCPG

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Hello there, my name is René Pringle and I started working full-time here at the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling in late March of this year as the Conference Coordinator/Administrative Assistant. I was the part-time bookkeeper at the WCPG since 2010 and have known some of the outstanding people here over the last few years, who I now am lucky enough to work with on a daily basis. I look forward to meeting even more of the wonderful people who help make the council such a great organization raising awareness about problem gambling and who help to give support and services to those affected by gambling disorders.

This last year has been quite exciting for me, I married my incredible husband in June of 2014, a few months after that we purchased, with my brother, the cabin that has been in our family for over 60 years in the north woods of Wisconsin to make new lasting memories with our growing family. Then started this adventure of becoming the Conference Coordinator here at the WCPG. I am thrilled and up to the challenge to be a part of next year's conference in March of 2016. I have been learning a lot the last few months and I know there is more ahead of me on this great journey.

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WCPG Outreach Program

Friday, May 29, 2015

My name is Andrea and I am the Outreach Coordinator here at WCPG. This position was created in August of 2014. It has been an exciting journey so far, building our Outreach program. I have met some really great students throughout the state as well as many teachers who are dedicated to giving the absolute best to their students and helping to prepare them to be successful young adults.

Did you know, adolescents ages 12-19 are at a high risk of developing gambling problems? Because they are not legally old enough to gamble, and there are no visible signs, as there are with other addictions, youth gambling can often go unnoticed.

We are dedicated to increasing awareness of the issue of teen gambling with students as well as educators. Since August, I have presented to 668 students and 18 educators. These students participated in a fun new program that encourages learning the facts about both gambling and gambling disorder.

We have recently created a new Facebook page, targeted to teens and young adults. Be sure to "like" us!

Please check out our Outreach tab and discover all that we have to offer!

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WCPG Conference was a success

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling recently held its 16th annual conference. The conference was held at the Osthoff Resort on March 12-13, 2015. Attendee's came from around Wisconsin as well as Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma and South Dakota to attend the conference.

The conference covered a variety of topics including Ethics, Supervision, Special populations, Treatment issues, Wellness, Co-Occurring Disorders and a variety of other topics surrounding gambling disorders.

The annual awards banquet on March 12 included awards to Larry Schoville (post-humously), LeAnne Holden, Patriciaq Jirovetz and Sharon Guyette.

Please join us for our 17th Annual Problem Gambling Awareness Conference on March 10-11, 2016 at the Marriott Milwaukee West.  The WCPG provides the only conference in the state of Wisconsin that specializes in gambling disorders. We hope to see you there.

Rose Gruber, Executive Director

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When a family member has a gambling problem.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Coping with a family member's gambling behavior can be exhausting. You have the right to feel safe both physically and emotionally. It can be exhausting trying to hold everything together at home.  Use your energy to take charge of your situation. Remember you cannot force your family member to acknowledge that their gambling is a problem or force them to stop gambling. You are not to blame for their behavior.

To not feel isolated and alone seek support from supportive people around you. It may mean going for counseling or attending a GAMANON meeting. Counseling can be a safer alternative for discussing problems if there is a communication breakdown between you and the gambler.

I like this quote from Corinna Bowers, "I need not know the entire journey in order to take one step!" Remember you are not alone and there is help out there for you, use it!

-Patricia Jirovetz, NCGC1

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Happy New Years

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

 

Happy New Year!!!
All of us here at the WCPG wish you a wonderful New Year! We hope you had a great end of 2014 and that your 2015 is even better.
The WCPG Helpline was very busy in 2014. The Helpline had a record setting 14,731 calls, an increase of 5.6 percent from 2013 and topping the previous record of 14,604 calls in 2009. Our Website, wi-problemgamblers.org started offering a Chat Line in late 2014
The 16th Annual Problem Gambling Awareness Conference will be held on March 12-13, 2015 at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake, WI. The brochure is now available on our website or by contacting the WCPG office at 920-437-8888 or wcpg@wi-problemgamblers.org. The conference is a great opportuniuty to learn more about gambling disorders, network with others, and have a little fun along the way.
We look forward to working with everyone in 2015.

Happy New Year!!!

All of us here at the WCPG wish you a wonderful New Year! We hope you had a great end of 2014 and that your 2015 is even better.

The WCPG Helpline was very busy in 2014. The Helpline had a record setting 14,731 calls, an increase of 5.6 percent from 2013 and topping the previous record of 14,604 calls in 2009. Our Website, wi-problemgamblers.org started offering a Chat Line in late 2014

The 16th Annual Problem Gambling Awareness Conference will be held on March 12-13, 2015 at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake, WI. The brochure is now available on our website or by contacting the WCPG office at 920-437-8888 or wcpg@wi-problemgamblers.org. The conference is a great opportuniuty to learn more about gambling disorders, network with others, and have a little fun along the way.

We look forward to working with everyone in 2015.

 

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Meet Rose Gruber, Executive Director

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Welcome to the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling's first blog. We look forward to connecting with you. I am Rose Gruber and I am the executive director for the WCPG.  From 1990 to 1997 I worked in Sturgeon Bay at a non-profit agency called Help of Door County as the Domestic Violence Services Coordinator.  

In early 1997 I decided it was time for me to think about moving back to Green Bay which is where I grew up and where I called home.  I started applying for a few jobs. My sister called me one Sunday morning and said I just found the perfect job for you in the newspaper. The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling was looking for a Helpline Coordinator.  I had been answering a Helpline for many years and thought "this might be a good fit".  I didn't really know much about the gambling addiction but was excited about finding out more. I applied, was interviewed by two of the original board members, Jerry Buckley and Judy Schaeff.  I still remember the day I got the job. I went to real estate school because I had thought about getting my real estate license.  It was the last afternoon of the class on a beautiful sunny day in May.  When I checked my phone (back then I still had the old bag phone) I had a message from Jerry. He offered me the position. I was so excited.  For about the first 8 months I kept wondering why I took the job. But then one day everything clicked and the     WCPG has become my baby. About a year after I was hired I became the Executive Director.  The rest is history. I absolutely love my job and all of the wonderful people I have met.

What has kept me here for over 17 years?  The fact that every day I can say, I helped someone today. Whether it be a compulsive gambler, a family member or someone else.  I have always had a wonderful dedicated group of board of directors and awesome co-workers to work with.  I have met so many wonderful people along the way-treatment providers, conference attendees, etc.

There have been some bumps in the road but at the end of each day I can say I have been blessed to have been given such a wonderful opportunity to be part of the community that helps provide resources and services for people who are affected by compulsive gambling disorders and their families. Thank you for being part of the journey.

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