Gambling and Youth
Studies show the earlier a youth engages in risky behaviors, the greater the likelihood those behaviors will become a problem later. Some of the consequences of underage gambling can include: an increased risk for developing a gambling disorder, poor academic performance, anxiety and depression, and an increased risk for substance use and abuse. In Jackson County, 34.7% of eighth graders and 28.6% of 11th graders say they have participated in some type of gambling in the last 30 days. Additionally, 4.1% of Jackson County 11th graders reported having ever bet or gambled more than they wanted to.
What Can Parents or Educators Do?
- Start early – have open and honest conversation with youth now about gambling and other risky behaviors.
- Listen – let them know that they can come to you and ask questions about gambling and that you will listen to them.
- Monitor your youth, know where they are, with whom, and what activities are planned.
- Set the example and be a good role model. If you engage in gambling, model responsible gambling behaviors like: set a dollar and time limit.
- Help youth develop positive coping skills. Gambling for some is a form of escape when life stressors become overwhelming.
- Educate yourself and the youth in your life about the risk of gambling. Look for opportunities to discuss the risks of gambling – when there is a news report of a jackpot win, talk about the odds and reality of winning.
- Avoid hosting gambling-related parties or fundraising events (e.g., casino nights, raffles, 50/50 drawings) at school or other youth-serving organizations. If hosting an event, make sure information about problem gambling and where to get help is provided.
- Establish rules and enforce them at home regarding gambling behaviors.
- Establish school policies and procedures restricting gambling on campus.
- Integrate problem gambling information into other prevention messaging or curriculums.
To learn more about problem gambling, go to www.opgr.org or preventionlane.org.
iCenter for Health and Safety Culture. (2019). Oregon Problem Gambling Survey on Guidelines. Montana State
University, Bozeman, Montana (n=734)
iiOregon Health Authority. Adolescents and Problem Gambling. 2019. Retrieved on February 3, 2020
iiiOregon Health Authority. 2018 Oregon Student Wellness Survey. Jackson County.