Youth Problem Gambling
According to 2019 Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS) data:
- Overall, 34.3% of students in Bucks County engaged in gambling for money or anything of value in their lifetime (compared to 33.7% at the state level).
- While there was a decrease in 2019 from 2017 related to lifetime and 30-day gambling, there was an all-grade increase in 2019 for online internet gambling (except 8th graders).
- The most frequently reported form of gambling was “lottery [scratch cards, numbers, etc.]” reported by 18.2% of students who had gambled in the past 12 months (compared to 20.2% at the state level).
Did you know that children introduced to gambling by age 12 are four times more likely to develop a gambling problem? 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.
Warning Signs of Youth Gambling
- Students miss classes or entire school days with no explanation.
- Grades suddenly drop or assignments aren’t being completed.
- Disinterest towards extracurricular activities.
- Behavior becomes more secretive, defensive or aggressive.
- There’s an increased interest in money and value of possessions.
- They speak openly about an interest in gambling or borrowing money.
(Change the Game Ohio)