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Internet Among Teenagers and School Students

Why youth gamble Today’s teens are living in a society where legalized gambling is not only socially acceptable; it is widely promoted and highly visible. 48 states now allow some form of gambling. Casinos advertise … Read More

Why youth gamble

Today’s teens are living in a society where legalized gambling is not only socially acceptable; it is widely promoted and highly visible. 48 states now allow some form of gambling. Casinos advertise heavily on TV, radio, online and billboard ads. Poker tournaments complete with expert commentary, interesting filming angles, and million-dollar prizes have become “hot ticket” reality TV on cable & broadband networks.

Given the prevalence, visibility, and glamour now afforded to gambling, it is not surprising that many teens are drawn to the instant gratification, thrill, and hope of fast money. The three predominant reasons reported by teens for gambling are (a) the excitement it brings, (b) enjoyment, and (c) to win money. Other reasons adolescents gamble include peer pressure, to relieve boredom, and to relieve feelings of depression. This is particularly the case on college campuses where students play poker in dorm rooms and local bars.

Columbia University Medical Center’s research indicates that teenagers make up half of the 16 million people in the United States with gambling addictions. At a time when youth are struggling and searching for their identity, gambling can appeal both because of its exciting value and its ability to rapidly boost a youth’s self-image. This can dramatically switch, however, when losses inevitably increase and trigger a drop in self-esteem, financial anxiety, and depression. Youth may begin stealing or selling possessions to pay off debts, or to continue gambling in the hopes of winning big.

Columbia’s research also indicates that youth who begin gambling at an early age are at increased risk of addiction and that gambling-addicted youths’ perceptions become altered into believing they have a higher than 50% chance of winning. Parents that gamble, give lottery tickets to youth or show approval of gambling are often a key contributing factor in teens with problem gambling. Teens succumb to gambling addiction at rates between two and four times the rate of adults.

Complicating efforts to protect minors from online gambling is the ever-present access to computers and mobile phones (several online casinos and card rooms offer mobile options) that make gambling just a click away. Another factor is the anonymity of online interactions: ID verification checks that serve as barriers to underage gambling in brick-and-mortar casinos are practically non-existent in the world of online gambling.

Identifying gambling addiction

If you suspect that you or your child has a gambling problem, review the following list of questions created by the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling that helps identify if gambling has become an addiction:

Problem Gambling Warning Signs:

  • Is gambling the most exciting activity in your life?
  • Do you miss school, activities, or other events due to gambling?
  • Has anyone expressed concern about your gambling?
  • Do you lie to your friends or family about your gambling?
  • Do you borrow money to gamble?
  • Have you sold personal belongings to get money to gamble?
  • Have you stolen from your family, friends, or employer to gamble or to pay back gambling debts?
  • After losing, do you try to win your money back by gambling?
  • Are you preoccupied with thoughts of gambling?
  • Have you tried to stop gambling but can’t?

Recovery from online gambling addictions is particularly challenging because in a moment of weakness a relapse is still only one click away.

Several states and organizations offer assistance for people struggling with gambling addictions and can provide referral services to councilors and programs in your area. To find help in your area, ask your doctor, or search online for “Internet Gambling addiction help” (plus the name of your state or city). You may also choose to contact Gamblers Anonymous and see their local listings for your area.

Talk about online gambling

Given the ease of access and the allure that online gambling judi online24jam terpercaya (and real-world gambling) has on teens and college-age students, it is critical that youth (particularly males) and parents understand and discuss the risks to minors surrounding this activity.

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