Talking to Youth about Online Gambling

Research shows that less than 20 per cent of parents discuss gambling with their children; this issue is seen as minor, mainly because parents are generally unaware of their kids’ participation in these sorts of activities.

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.