Parents, Don’t Send Wrong Message About Gambling

Parents, Don’t Send Wrong Message About Gambling

Editor’s Note: Dr. Dostal is executive director of the LEAF Council on Alcoholism & Addictions.

As we gear up for the height of the football season and cheer of the holiday season, I want to take this time to remind parents that seemingly insignificant family happenings can have a lasting impact on children. If you want to gamble on sites like, then that’s 100% fine! Just be aware of the surrounding impact it could have.

Football betting is enjoyed by such a wide variety of people all over the world so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to also be aware of the people you around your children because they could have a negative impact if that isn’t appropriately monitored. For instance, a friend of mine enjoyed Indonesian football gaming – or as they called it Judi Bola. He would always talk about how exciting it was when he would come over to visit our family. And while he has every right to get excited about these kinds of games, we don’t want to give our children the idea to jump headfirst into those kinds of games at such a young age.

Young people are at a far higher risk for problem gambling than adults, so this is a gentle reminder for all those parents who want absolutely nothing but the very best for their children! If you don’t know much about gambling and the different types of games that are available, learn more here.

The New York Council on Problem Gambling’s “Know the Odds” campaign puts it like this:

“It starts innocently enough. Cousins sit around the kitchen table watching their parents play poker after a family [gathering]. They see the excitement and frustration as bets are won and lost, chips exchanged and new hands dealt.

They feel the rush as they root for their parents, cheering them on by saying, ‘It’s okay. You’ll win next time.’ They get excited when their parents allow them to join in playing.

“It’s watching the Super Bowl with their father. He’s placed bets with the children’s uncle on who will win and what the score will be, and the atmosphere is tense for every hour of the big game. Waves of excitement and anxiety come as the odds of him winning his bet change with every touchdown.

“It’s a trip to the convenience store with their mother. She buys gasoline for the car, two bottles of water and five dollars’ worth of the scratch-off type lottery tickets. She lets her children scratch off the various tickets; one child’s ticket reveals a one-dollar prize. Months later, the same child receives scratch-off tickets in a gift card.”

Once the “thrill” of gambling has sparked an adolescent’s developing brain, they are at much higher risk for problem gambling. We encourage all adults to consider this reality before engaging in friendly wagers in the presence of young people. Also, we always discourage the giving of scratch-off tickets to young people for any occasion. If you want to educate your children on gambling, it must start by showing them what it is and how it’s done. For this, you may want to use, ???<--spch-->????????<--spch--> ???????<--spch-->???<--spch-->
to get them started. As long as they know what they’re doing you should be ready to go!

For more information about youth and problem gambling, check out If you or someone you care about has a problem with gambling you can call the NY HOPELine twenty-four hours a day. 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-6-7369). Additionally, the staff at the LEAF Council on Alcoholism and Addictions is your local source for addiction information, education and referral at 432-0090