Talking to Kids About Gambling
Unlike other risk behaviours like drinking and smoking, most parents do not talk to their kids about gambling, leaving kids to make up their own rules. As a parent, it is important to recognize that gambling carries risk and to approach it as you would with other risky behaviours. The good news is that statistics indicate kids look first to their parents for advice and guidance. So knowing the facts about gambling and starting the conversation earlier means kids will be better prepared to make responsible choices.
How to Start the Conversation
It's never too early to start the conversation with kids about gambling. Below are some easy ways to prepare.
- Use your GameSense by arming yourself with good information – how gambling works and the common myths.
- Bring the conversation up naturally, like when watching poker on TV or during the announcement about the latest lottery winner.
- Pose hypothetical questions to get the conversation started. Maybe ask how they'd feel about betting, and losing, one of their prized processions.
- Let kids know your expectations about gambling, and your reasons for them.
- Ask lots of questions and listen carefully. It's a great way to discover what they know and dispel any misconceptions.
- Talk to them about the difference between skill-based games (like video games and sports) where practice can pay off, versus gambling where the outcome is random and chance-based.
- Explain that gambling is not a way to make money – internet gambling sites are designed so that most people lose money in the long term.
- Dispel common gambling myths and explain that there is no system, set of skills or amount of practice that will make someone a successful gambler.
- Remember, actions speak louder than words. The best thing you can do is demonstrate responsible gambling habits.
- If have specific concerns, you can call the Problem Gambling Help Line at 1-888-795-6111. There you'll find someone to talk to 24 hours a day.
More Tips For Parents
- Know your kids' friends and who they are spending time with.
- Talk to other parents if you think your kids are accessing online gambling sites at their friend's house.
- Set consistent rules and consequences for internet use.
- If necessary, explore content filtering software to block access to gambling websites.
- Never give your credit card information or bank details to your kids to access gambling websites.
- Protect your PlayNow.com account information, including username and password.
- Log off when you leave your computer.
Managing Online Content
Preventing access to minors is of utmost importance to us. In British Columbia, the legal age to gamble is 19 years old. The registration process and software on PlayNow.com are designed to restrict minors from creating accounts through a rigorous identity verification process. However, despite the measures we take to maintain this safety net, there is never 100% certainty in an online world. Parents are encouraged to incorporate content-filtering software or parental control products on their home computers to help prevent kids from accessing online gambling and related content. If you are aware of a minor that is gambling on PlayNow.com, please contact PlayNow Support via live chat, email or by calling 1-877-706-6789.
Content Filtering & Parental Controls
48% of kids surveyed in BC say it is "easy" to gamble online, even though they're underage. So as much as you might want kids to enjoy all the discoveries the virtual world offers, there are sites they simply shouldn't visit. You'll never know everything kids are doing online. But there are steps you can take so you know what they're not doing!
How Does Content-Filtering Software Work?
Content-filtering software is designed to help control what internet content and resources users have access to.
- It can be applied to any computer to prevent access to websites with objectionable content, including gambling and gaming.
- It can allow password protected access to certain individuals so that content is blocked for those who need it and accessed by those who don't.
- Some programs even allow users to limit the amount of time spent accessing the internet.
How Do I Get Content-Filtering Software?
There are many content-filtering and parental control products available on the internet on both a 'paid' and 'free' basis. An internet search will reveal a variety of providers, options and information on these tools. Try searching using keywords such as:
- "Content Filtering Software"
- "Parental Control"
- "Internet Blocking Software"
Whether you choose a paid or free version of this software, do your research and find the tool that is right for you!