Compulsive or problem gambling has been a problem among adults for a long time. This problem has been exacerbated by the availability of online gambling and betting sites. As a result, teen gambling is a growing problem. It is not uncommon to hear of teens addicted to online gambling.
A review of 1300 calls to the National Problem Gambling Helpline revealed that 106 (8%) clients reported that internet gambling was their main problem. These individuals were primarily between the ages of 18 and 25. A recent Annenberg Foundation study found that nearly 600,000 teenagers (aged 14-22 years) gamble every week.
These numbers are alarming but not surprising.
It is dangerous.
Addiction is more common in children and teens. Gambling at an early age can be dangerous. Gambling addiction is no different from an addiction to drugs or alcohol. These can have devastating effects on the person and their families and cause compulsive behavior. Online poker’s popularity and the widespread acceptance of gambling have made it more mainstream and acceptable. As a result, gambling is now an expected behavior even among teenagers.
20% of problem gamblers attempt suicide. An indicator of a problem A massive win can trigger gambling. Keep your eyes peeled. They gamble more than any other entertainment or hobby. Their academic performance has improved. They may need to borrow money often and feel pressured about finances.
You discover that your house is empty of money. They buy expensive, new items without any explanations about how they got them.
Talk to your child about gambling. Communication is key to understanding what’s going on and how to avoid problems. You can check the computer of your teen to see which sites they visit online if you suspect that they may be gambling. You may wish to install parental control software if you feel your teen shouldn’t be allowed to gamble online. Consult a professional if you suspect that there is a severe problem.
You can use software to prevent your teenager from accessing gambling websites. In most cases, removing access to the problem will suffice.
Compulsive gambling isn’t just an adult issue. Did you know teens are increasingly finding themselves ensnared in the treacherous web of online gambling? There’s a concerning rise in the stories we hear – tales of young people descending into the abyss of addiction.
Looking at the numbers? Brace yourself, it’s a bit of a shocker. The National Problem Gambling Helpline received 1300 calls, right? Here’s the kicker: 8% of those callers, mostly hovering between the ages of 18 and 25, fingered online gambling as their main demon. Add to this, the Annenberg Foundation chimes in with another startling figure: around 600,000 teenagers, from the ages of 14 to 22, flirt with gambling every single week. The gravity of these figures? Undeniably profound, urging us to sit up and act.
Why the surge, though? The reasons are many. Picture this: as society warms up to the notion of gambling, bolstered by the magnetism of online poker and similar lures, it’s no longer the taboo it once was. To many teens, it’s no different than binge-watching their favorite series or battling it out in a video game. But oh, the risks involved are astronomically different.
And here’s a thing about teens: their minds, still maturing, are like sponges. While this means they can soak up knowledge at school, it also means they’re soft targets for vices. Substance abuse, for instance, can do a number on their delicate minds. Gambling? Equally insidious, if not more. Fall into its grip, and a teen can see their grades plummet, relationships fracture, and their pockets mysteriously empty, save for perhaps a flashy new gadget they can’t quite explain how they bought.
The really dark side? A staggering 20% of these problem gamblers have mulled over or even attempted the unthinkable: ending their lives. It’s a shuddering testament to the emotional and psychological toll gambling exacts.
What’s to be done? Vigilance, first and foremost. Parents, guardians, we need to keep our antennae up. That new, pricey sneaker collection? The unexpected wads of cash? Alarm bells.
Addressing the issue head-on is paramount. A heart-to-heart with your teen can work wonders. Dive into their online world if suspicions emerge. There’s handy tech out there – parental control software and apps designed to thwart gambling site access. But, if the waters are too murky, professional intervention might be the only lifeboat. And remember, it’s never too late to pull them back to solid ground.