**AN IMPORTANT HOLIDAY MESSAGE FROM MY FRIENDS of NORTHSTAR ALLIANCE**
Why Lottery Tickets are Inappropriate Gifts for Youth:
- Children’s brains aren’t developmentally mature to understand the risks involved
- Most adults can equate a lottery win as a stroke of luck or random chance but children have a harder time putting a win to perspective
- For children, research has shown that lottery games can act as a gateway to more problematic forms of gambling
- When a lottery ticket is presented as a gift by a trusted parent or other family member, the child is likely to interpret the gift as saying “this is a safe thing for you to do.”
(Source: National Council on Problem Gambling)
Studies show a growing number of high school students receive one or more lottery tickets to scratch cards as a gift. Teens gamble at least occasionally and lottery products maybe a gateway to problem gambling. (Source: youthgambling.com)
If your children are gambling — but not using drugs, smoking or drinking — you may think there’s no reason to be concerned. But given that gambling can become an addiction — and is statistically more likely the younger a person first gambles — you should be.
Gambling is not a safe alternative to alcohol, drugs or cigarettes. While most people can gamble safely, for some it can become an addiction that’s devastating to both the gambler and their family.
Here are some things you should know about gambling:
- Gambling addiction is a disease that can affect anyone
- People with a gambling problem may spend money they can’t afford to lose
- People with gambling problems might spend excessive amounts of time gambling
- A gambling problem can affect many parts of someone’s life, such as school, work, friendships, family relationships and hobbies
- With the right information and help, young people and parents can overcome gambling problems
- Children and adolescents tend to model their behavior based on behaviors of others, whether parents, friends or role models.
(Source: Partners in Prevention, International Centre for Youth Gambling and Problems & High-Risk Behaviors at ) www.youthgambling.com
Facts and Figures about Youth Gambling
According to the American Psychiatric Association, 10 to 15% of young people have significant gambling problems compared to fewer than 4% of adults. And today, more youth than ever before are developing gambling problems.
Eight percent of adolescents 12 to 17 years old are considered problem gamblers. Problem gamblers say they began gambling at about 10 years of age, on average.
A University of Minnesota survey indicated that youth are at four times the risk of adults for developing pathological (compulsive) gambling. Six percent of teens who have tried gambling develop the most severe form of gambling addiction (pathological gambling) compared to about 1.5% of adults.
Youth gambling has been shown to be linked to other risk taking and addictive behaviors, such as smoking, drinking and drug use. Adolescents gamblers have a higher rate of depression, suicide ideation and attempts. Males are more likely to gamble and do so more frequently. Males have higher gross wagers and have higher gross winnings.
Possible Youth Gambling Indicators
The following are signs of problem gambling that suggest counseling should be sought.
- Gambling frequently on things like cards, dice, games, sports or online sites
- Lying about how much was gambled
- Gambling has become the favorite (or only) activity
- Trouble concentrating on homework or other things (thinking about gambling)
- Drinking alcohol or taking drugs
- Borrowing or stealing money to gamble
- Missing important events or sneaking out of them to gamble
- Arguing with friends or family about gambling
- Thinking that most problems would be solved by getting a big win
- Thinking that gambling is an easy way to make money
- Thinking that the odds can be beaten (“I am a good gambler”)
- Making more bets, assuming that money lost can be won back
- Feeling the need to bet more and more money
SO, PLEASE, DON’T BUY SCRATCH TICKETS FOR YOUR TEENS AS Stocking Stuffers …
YOUR ONLY TEACHING THEM TO GAMBLE EARLY and MAY BECOME A PROBLEM LATER IN LIFE …