Addiction to gambling has always been a problem for adults, and now with increasing online gambling options, teenagers are also falling in the trap. Gambling and betting in the cyber world has intensified the issue. Gambling by minors is no longer a minor problem for adults. It has become a major issue and a growing trend and sadly it’s not odd anymore to hear teenagers getting addicted to gambling.
A review showed that in a sample of 1300 calls made to National Problem Gambling Helpline, 106 i.e. 8% of the clients reported that their core problem was online gambling. A majority of them were in the age group 18-25. In addition to this, a latest study by multibetzone.com revealed that almost 6 million of the youthful population (aged 14-22) people gamble online at least once in a week.
These numbers do draw our attention but they do not shock us anymore.
Why is it hazardous? Early exposure to gambling is dangerous, because teenagers and kids are more prone to addiction. Anything that is addictive is hazardous. Just as addiction to drugs and alcoholic beverages is harmful, so is the addiction to laying bets and gambling in cyberspace. This is harmful not only to the gamer or the gambler, but family and dear ones could also be affected by the potential destruction. This could also lead to other obsessive behaviors.Today’s growing popularity of online poker and the glamorization around it has played a major role in putting the gambling in limelight. Gone are those days when gambling was considered a taboo. It’s no longer an unusual behavior.Studies tell us that 20 out of 100 gamblers try to commit suicide at some point or the other.
Signs of a problem Winning a prize or a large sum of money can get your kid addicted. Beware of it. It’s time for a trouble shoot if they are spending more time gambling instead of other activities like entertainment, sports, movies or hobbies etc.The academic report card starts showing a decline in performance.They constantly need to borrow money and look stressed about finances.You don’t find your cash or credit cards in your wallet/purse or valuables are missing from your safe.They start buying new items or pricey stuff and leave you wondering from where they really got the money to buy.Change in behavioral pattern or strange temperament.
Solutions It’s good to have a open talk now and then and keep things under control if you know your child is gambling. Having conversation can help avert the issue.Keep an eye on what sites they are visiting online if you think your kid is keeping his online gambling problem away from you.Install a Parental Control Software to put restrictions on internet usage to keep your child locked away from gambling sites.Seek advice from a professional consultant if you find signs a serious issue budding.If your child accepts the problem, block the gambling sites using a web filter or so. In many cases simply preventing the access to such site would be enough to eliminate the problem.