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One in Six Parents Don’t Know If Their Child Is Betting Online – Do You?

Published: March 25, 2024

Most parents are aware of the impact social media can have on youth, from cyberbullying to an increased risk of anxiety and depression. But did you know that online gambling is growing in popularity for youth on social media? Online wagering is prohibited in Ohio through Know Your Customer, Anti-Money Laundering, and facial recognition software protections. But in some places, youth still may be able to access offshore or illegal wagering or find ways to gambler with their peers. And according to a new poll, one in six parents wouldn’t know if their child was participating in it. 

The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital conducted a National Poll on Children’s Health to evaluate parents’ awareness of their child’s online activity. And the results were a mixed bag. While many parents were aware of sports betting – one-third of them even participated – many still didn’t think their children would engage in it underage. 

New insights from the poll included: 

  • One in six parents think they would probably not know if their teen was betting online.
  • Two percent of parents believe their teen has used an online betting platform.
  • Over half of parents do not know their state’s legal age for online betting.
  • Two-thirds of parents reported their teen has a bank account, debit, or credit card in their own name that could be used to register for online betting platforms. 
  • One-third of parents say that they or another adult in their household participate in betting.  

So, why are so many parents unaware of their child’s betting activity? Mott Poll co-director Sarah Clark, M.P.H., said a contributing factor is that betting activities like a fantasy football league or March Madness pools are considered normal for youth to participate in. And then there is the widespread availability of online betting.

“Parents may be underestimating their teen’s interest and savviness,” Clark told U.S. News and World Report. “Online betting can be difficult to detect because a teen can easily log in on their smartphone or other personal device, delete the search history, hide the app or use it discreetly.”

Could your child be participating in online betting? Here are some warning signs to be aware of: 

  • Missing classes or entire school days with no explanation.
  • Disinterest in extracurricular activities they used to enjoy.
  • An increased interest in money and the value of possessions.
  • Grades suddenly drop, or assignments aren’t being completed.

But as a parent, you can do something to ensure your child has what they need to reduce their risk of experiencing a problem with gambling later in life. Visit today to access helpful resources to get the conversation started.  

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