Teen gambling is on the rise. Sports betting, card games (like Texas Hold 'Em), and Internet gambling are an increasing part of teens' lives. For example, a 2004 study found that of 461 high school students between 14 and 18 years old, 210 or 46% reported watching poker on television, and 55% played poker. Of those who watch poker on TV, 82% reported playing poker. The majority (68%) of these youth played poker for money. Access to legal and illegal betting is easy and for teens looking for an illegal risk, quick cash or a winner's high, gambling can easily become addictive.

Have you seen the impact of problem gambling in your school or classroom?

Educators are in the position to teach important decision-making skills around the issue of gambling. You can help youth examine shifting attitudes and values concerning gambling and challenge youth to consider how they will approach gambling in their lives.

The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling has adapted a curriculum created by the Minnesota Extension Service for use in middle, junior and high schools and we can send it to you at no cost. In the eight-lesson "Gambling: Choices & Challenges Curriculum," youth are involved in examining shifting attitudes and values concerning gambling and are challenged to consider how they will approach gambling activities in their lives. The program is designed for a two-week time period and can be a unit in social studies, health, personal and family life sciences or in conjunction with self-esteem programs. The curriculum is flexible and you are able to select lessons from the curriculum that meet the educational needs of your students. The lessons are appropriate for high school and middle school students. Please contact us at 1-800-GAMBLE-5 or for more information about the "Gambling: Choices and Challenges Curriculum."