Protecting Your Kids: 6 Ways to Prevent Underage Gambling

2 children sitting in their phones outside

Did you know that nearly a quarter (23.5%) of teenagers have gambled at least once in their lifetime? This statistic, highlighted in a recent study, reveals a surprising truth: underage gambling is a more common issue than many parents might realize. While gambling can seem like harmless fun, the reality is that it can lead to serious problems for young people, including addiction and financial difficulties. The good news is that there are steps you can take to protect your children from these risks.

Ways to Protect Your Children from Underage Gambling

Below are 6 tips for parents when their children are at risk of underage gambling:

Talk to Your Children About the Risks of Gambling

Initiating conversations about gambling with your children is crucial. Discuss the allure of gambling, the high possibility of losing money, and the potential for addiction. Explain the unrealistic portrayals of gambling in media, where winning is frequent and effortless.

Keep in mind that nowadays youth are under the direct influence of gambling-related media. With over 80 million monthly listeners, even the popular musician Drake has signed a partnership agreement with a big online casino brand. You must explain to your kids that marketing moves made by celebrities do not portray the realities of the world.

By fostering an open dialogue, children feel comfortable confiding in you if they are ever tempted to gamble.

Monitor Your Children’s Activities and Internet Usage

Depending on your children’s age, you can proactively monitor their activities, particularly their internet usage. Utilize parental control software and website blockers to restrict access to known gambling websites and apps on their devices. Be mindful of online advertisements that might normalize gambling or target younger audiences.

Oversee Your Children’s Financials

Has your child been very sensitive about the topic of money? Did they suddenly require a bigger amount of pocket money?

Maintaining clear oversight of your children’s finances is essential. Review bank statements and monitor online transactions for any suspicious activity. Consider implementing parental controls on credit cards and online accounts to prevent unauthorized gambling transactions. Discuss responsible budgeting and saving habits to instil healthy financial practices in your children.

Know the Signs of Gambling Addiction

Educate yourself about the signs of gambling addiction in children. These may include sudden changes in spending habits, secretive behaviour, borrowing money, or neglecting responsibilities. If you suspect your child has a gambling problem, address it immediately.

Be a good role model

Children are highly influenced by the behaviour of their parents and guardians. If you gamble, ensure you do so responsibly and in moderation. Avoid glamorizing gambling or using gambling language flippantly. Your responsible behaviour serves as a powerful example for your children.

Seek professional help

If you are concerned about your child’s gambling habits, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. There are numerous resources available to support both children and families dealing with gambling addiction. Therapists specializing in gambling disorders can provide valuable guidance and treatment options.

A Word From Us

Gambling has become a problem among youth very recently. Some blame the economy, others the media. This, however, is not an excuse for letting children gamble – in any amount. Children often lack the sense of long-term consequences – which is hard for adults to understand. That’s why parents must provide a healthy and safe environment for them from online and on-site gambling.

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