How to talk to kids about gambling
Published: May 11, 2020
Hopefully all moms had a wonderful Mother’s Day! Being a mom takes amazing strength, especially when it comes to tough conversations. Change the Game, created by Ohio for Responsible Gambling, is here to help moms (and all parent figures) talk with children about responsible gaming and gambling behaviors, helping to prevent youth gambling before it’s a problem.
The earlier children are exposed to gambling, the more likely they are to become problem gamblers as adults. Simply seeing responsible gambling from adults, such as placing sports bets or buying lottery tickets, exposes kids to gambling behaviors. Many video games and apps may also introduce them to gambling. Children introduced to gambling by age 12 are four times more likely to develop a gambling problem. Yet 66% of parents never talk to their children about gambling.
Start the conversation
It’s important to make time to talk with kids about gambling. Here are a few discussion points:
- Explain that gambling results in losses more often than wins. Spending money on things they want is better than losing it all on a bet.
- Explain that underage gambling is illegal.
- Talk to them about the consequences of problem gambling, including being sad, having no money to spend, lower grades, and damaged friendships.
- Encourage healthy spending. Talk about how they plan to spend money they have from their after-school or summer job, as well as allowance.
- Ask questions about their experiences with gambling—and listen to their answers.
For more information to help unlock the realities of youth gambling, visit ChangeTheGameOhio.org.