Gambling, Gaming and Teens

“‘Growing Up Gambling‘ is a new NET Television documentary that takes viewers inside the brain of an online gamer and online gambler, telling the story of a student’s downward spiral into addictive online sports betting.

Blurred lines divide child’s play gaming from gambling. “Growing up Gambling” illustrates how advancement of technology makes it easy to engage in high-stakes gambling. Easy access via mobile gambling puts a tech-savvy generation at greater risk than prior generations.”

The half-hour documentary on gambling and gaming may be watched now – just click on the photo.

Growing Up Gaming
Growing Up Gaming

Gambling used to be defined as an adult activity. But, any game of chance or skill that is played for money is gambling. Most forms of gambling are illegal for anyone younger than 18 years. However, teens find their own ways to gamble.

According to the National Center for Responsible Gaming “Young people tend to gamble in more informal situations than adults. You don’t see kids playing slot machines or making bets at the racetrack. They tend to play cards for money, make friendly bets on sporting events and play the lottery, in spite of age restrictions. A recent national study estimated that nearly 70 percent of Americans aged 14-19 years gambled in the past year and approximately 11 percent gambled twice a week or more on average.”

There is a campaign, in New York, that is focused on giving parents the knowledge and resources to teach their kids about problem gambling. It is called “Don’t Bet Yet

On their website they share “Children are introduced to gambling every day in the United States.As they scratch off their first lottery tickets and bet on their first card games, they aren’t being taught that the fun activity can become addicting and destructive to their health and happiness.

Teach your kids about problem gambling. Tell them about the risks of gambling at a young age, the consequences of addiction and how they can prevent themselves from facing their own problems.
Keep your kids gambling-free with our educational resources. With your help, we can make sure they Don’t Bet Yet.”

I came up with an extensive list of gambling questions. It was intended for adults, but it works for any age!

1.Do you have a credit card or bank account that no one knows about?
2.Are you angry of defensive when you are asked about your gambling habits?
3.Do you think that activities like bingo, lottery tickets, sports bets, the stock market and/or raffles are forms of gambling?
4.Does your mood improve before you start gambling?
5.Would you describe yourself as a “thrill-seeker”?
6.Are you satisfied after winning a large amount of money?
7.Do you sometimes feel guilty after gambling?
8.When you are asked about how you spend your time, can you honestly admit the amount of time you spend gambling?
9.Have you noticed an increase in the amount you drink and eat?
10.Do you gamble until you have spent all the money you brought with you?
11.Have you ever stopped gambling to prove to someone (or yourself) that you don’t have a problem?
12.Have your ever said “I will gamble today, just to ‘get even’”?
13. Do you ever lose track of time while gambling?
14. Do you brag about a big win, even though it happened a long time ago?
15. Do you believe that money is the cause and solution to just about all of your problems?
16. If someone were to pay off all of your gambling debts, would you be satisfied with that feeling of “getting even”, and stop gambling forever?
17. Do you tend to be generous to the point of extravagance?
18. Have your borrowed money from someone in the last few months?
19. Have you even considered an illegal act, to get you out of your financial problems?
20. Do you feel like gambling as a way to celebrate a noteworthy event or achievement?
21. Has your sleeping patterns changed in the last few months
22. Do you have a separate group of “friends” that your gamble with?
23. Do you have any compulsive behaviors?
24. Have you had problems with drugs and alcohol?
25. Do you have a hard time focusing at work?
26. Are you proud of your finances and credit score?

I haven’t devised a formal score for the test. But, the results should be fairly obvious.  If you are your loved one can answer a half-dozen or more questions, with a yes, you can be fairly sure you have a problem.

More resources:

Another source of referrals is the network of state gambling helplines. The national helpline number is 800-522-4700. Parents dealing with a child who has a gambling problem can find support at meetings of Gam-Anon, a self-help fellowship for friends and families who have a loved one struggling with gambling addiction. Visit here for information about these meetings. Youth Gambling International also has a helpful and informative website.

You can also read my previous articles on Gambling and Texting Addiction.
Our 800RecoveryHub site offers free and confidential help

3 thoughts on “Gambling, Gaming and Teens

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