Preventing teens and kids from gambling this holiday season
When it comes to preventing teens and kids from gambling, some organizations suggest that parents need to be proactive of presents this holiday season and advise that they should not give out scratch offs, pull tabs, & lottery tickets as presents. It’s illegal to give any of those to kids and teens in Minnesota.
Susan Scheridan Tucker is the Executive Director of Minnesota Alliance of Problem Gambling. She said kids and teens are four times as likely to develop problem gambling behaviors.
“The 2022 Minnesota Student Survey does have a couple of gambling questions on it,” Scheridan Tucker asid. “We just ran the analysis on that survey and 6000 Minnesota students are indicating problems with gambling. Some are indicating that they’re gambling more than once a week, which is very troubling.”
Rose Blozinski is the Executive Director with the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling. She said it’s an important for parents to speak open and honestly with preventing teens and kids from gambling.
“Kids are at high risk,” Blozinski said. “The statistics out of the National Council show us that 6%-20% of our youth, compared to 1%-3% of adults can develop a gambling problem. That number is very significant because it’s definitely at least double that of adults.”
The Wisconsin lottery and has partnered with the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling to educate people about risks of gambling for kids and teens this holiday season.
“Kids don’t have the same problem-solving skills or paying attention to risk, that adults hopefully have accomplished at some point. We know that the younger you start any type of gambling behavior, the higher risk you have to become addicted to it in the long run.”
Dawn Eisenach, is a Councilor at the Center for Drug and Alcohol Treatment. She said an addiction to gambling is just as destructive as a drug addiction.
“The clients that I get typically have started in their youth and have lost homes and relationships. Some have taken their own life,” Eisenach said. “It’s a scary thing to deal with and if they could break that pattern in their kids’ childhood, break that cycle, it would be good to at least have some education on the gambling behavior.”
The Center for Alcohol and Drug treatment do have a gambling recovery program. Unfortunately they cannot help anyone younger than 18 years old.