The proportion of young people with gambling problems is much higher than in the adult population. It is important to recognize that youth are vulnerable to risky behaviour, gambling being one of the least recognized. Today’s society is experiencing the first generation of children growing up in an era where gambling is normal and readily available. Young people tend to be attracted, at least initially, to different types of gambling. In fact, youth often do not call their behaviour “gambling”, to which they associate with casinos.

Over 80 percent of Ontario kids aged 12 to 17 years have gambled for money in the past year. Parents have the challenge of keeping their children safe from such risky behaviours, and may benefit from more awareness and education around this issue.

video-game-chartGambling Activities may include:

  • Playing cards for money (e.g. Texas Hold ‘Em)
  • Dice games
  • Pro-Line/Sport Select tickets available at lottery kiosks
  • Internet gambling
  • Video games
  • Casino gambling
  • Bingo
  • Betting money on their own or friends’ activities (e.g. sports games, street racing, other skills or games)

We can assist youth and parents to:

• Understand the problem and its effects
• Make positive changes and decisions
• Cope with stress, depression and anxiety
• Heal family relationships

Links

YMCA Youth Gambling Program
http://www.ymcaywca.ca/youth/gamblingprogram/

Friends for Youth
www.friendsforyouth.com