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Kids & Gambling

Did you know kids are more likely to gamble than drink, do drugs or smoke, yet they’re far less prepared to handle and understand the risks of gambling. That’s why it’s important to start the conversation early and here’s how to prepare yourself:

The Facts

  • Studies conducted worldwide have found the average problem gambler started gambling at age 10
  • Kids are exposed to gambling images almost every day — from the corner store that sells lottery tickets to TV ads for poker and the local casino
  • The types of gambling activities with the most participation by kids under 18 are Scratch & Win tickets, poker and betting on the outcome of a game
  • Kids who say their parents have gambled in the past year are significantly more likely to participate in gambling activities themselves

What can I do?

  • Talk to them about the difference between skill-based games like video games and sports where practice can pay off, versus gambling [like slots and the lottery, where the outcome is random and chance-based
  • Practice healthy and responsible gambling habits yourself, setting an example for your children.
  • Learn as much as you can about key concepts of gambling and common myths.

Watch for signs

If you’re concerned, there are some signs to keep an eye out for which could be an indication of a gambling problem if he or she:

  • Has friends who gamble regularly
  • Is obsessed with the results of professional sporting events
  • Is often playing around with dice, playing cards or lottery tickets
  • Lies or is secretive about gambling activities
  • Borrows or takes money from others to gamble
  • Money or possessions go missing from the house

For further information visit www.youthgambling.com

Managing online content

While most online gaming services attempt to prevent children from accessing their services, young people say it’s quite easy to gamble online. If you’re a parent, you can incorporate content-filtering software to help prevent your kids from accessing online gambling sites. Read on for different options.

Content-filtering software

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 to find content-filtering software

There are many content-filtering and parental control products available on the internet. 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"