Online games of chance may seem innocuous, but the Internet gambling industry is growing exponentially with more jurisdictions coming onboard – including several Canadian provinces. It’s a good idea to start conversations about online gaming with young people at an early age.
- Discuss gambling and the risks involved: from compulsive behaviours to financial problems.
- Remind kids that there are so many gambling sites on the Internet because they make much more money than they give away to players.
- Take the opportunity to teach your kids about probabilities – an Ontario study found that most youth have vague or erroneous ideas on what their chances really are. (For example, they believe they have a better chance of winning if they use random numbers instead of numbers that are in a sequence.)
- Adults should examine their own habits in this area and remember that kids model themselves after the trusted adults in their lives.
- Problem Gambling Institute of Ontario’s website has self-help tools, including a mobile app for problem gambling.
- The International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors
at McGill University has a youth gambling website which has “myths versus facts” tip sheets and self evaluation tools.