Resources for parents of at-risk and troubled teens.



October 2010

Teen Gambling Problem

by Staff, on at risk youth, gambling addiction, pathological teen gambling, teen gambling, teen gambling addiction, teen gambling issue, Teen Gambling Problem

Teen gambling is present in our society at all times. But in the last decade it is on a slow rise as the popularity of poker and other gambling games grows. Most celebrities gamble, you can see gambling on TV all the time and now there are thousands of websites offering online gambling which makes it easy for teens not only to want to gamble with their friends, but also to gamble for real money online. From that comes a teen gambling addiction.

There are two types of gambling teens can engage in, social gambling and pathological gambling. There are adults and teens that gamble socially only for interaction and fun, they either gamble for pretend or for a set amount of money and none of them is angry if they lose. Well, these are always small amounts of money. They play to have fun, there is no high stakes or large pots, they usually limit their playing time to once or twice a week and there is always a certain group of friends that plays.

On the other hand pathological teen gambling is an issue to worry about. A little bit over 5% off teens has a gambling problem, which is a higher percentage than it is with adults. In most cases these are male teens that have gambling issues, but girl teens with a gambling problem are also on the rise. It is easy to recognize a gambling problem, these teens usually feel thrilled when they gamble, they often invest money they don’t have, they dream of winning big, always go for the big pot even when they are losing and the most terrifying part for parents is using their credit card to play online without watching the limit or having any idea of the limit or when it’s enough.

There are a few things that you can watch out for to recognize a teen gambling problem, like when a teen starts to sell his own stuff, starts borrowing money that he never pays back, starts to lie and steal, and comes up with a great amount of money that fell out of the sky. Things like strangers calling frequently can also point to a teen gambling problem, also when you check your phone bill you see a 900 gambling number, you start seeing unexplained bills on your credit card, and of course hours and hours online and obsession with gambling in general can give you a pretty good idea of what is going on.

Well these are just a few things to watch out for, general behavior issues always follow as well, so if your teen starts skipping school, changes his behavior or starts hanging with a new group of friends all of that can show you that your teen is in some kind of trouble. If you are close with your teen you will notice these types of behavior sooner, so make sure that you know what is going on until your teen develops a serious gambling issue. Staff