Warning Signs Your Child Or Teen May Have a Gambling Problem


Gambling is an age-old human activity. While gambling can be illegal in some jurisdictions and heavily regulated in others, it is an increasingly popular tourist activity in many locations. While some gamblers are lucky and win big, others are not so fortunate. In most cases, the house always wins, so it is important to understand that gambling activities are generally private enterprises. Here are some warning signs your child or teen may have a gambling problem.

Legal forms of gambling

Depending on the state of reference, gambling activities may be legal or illegal. In Nevada, gambling is legal while in some other states, it is prohibited. Nevada permits online gambling, bingo, scratch-off stickers, and similar forms of monetary exchange. Other forms of gambling are governed by state laws, such as state lotteries. Underage gambling, dogfights, and human fight clubs are prohibited in some states. However, some states legalize some activities in order to benefit local businesses and colleges.

Although most youth gamble infrequently, a few do excessively. While adults purchase lottery tickets and participate in commercial gambling, youth engage in informal games of chance. In addition, some jurisdictions have set an age when individuals can legally engage in gambling. This age varies by jurisdiction, but generally ranges from eighteen to twenty-one years. Many youth use the legal gambling age as an opportunity to celebrate their newfound freedom. Others acquire lottery products from legal-age gamblers.

Signs that a teen might have a gambling problem

In Canada, age limits for gambling range from 18 to 19 years of age. Signs that your teen might have a gambling problem include: spending more money than you planned, spending more time on gambling activities, not taking care of other responsibilities, and never able to stop thinking about gambling. Gambling may also lead to emotional struggles such as anxiety or depression. Other potential symptoms include problems at school or behavioural problems.

The first step is to identify the problem. Statistical studies show that about four to five percent of teenagers have a gambling problem, with the risk level being 10 to 14 percent. There are also many psychological consequences associated with gambling addiction, so it is important to be on the lookout for signs that your teen might have a gambling problem. It’s important to remember that these behaviors may have detrimental effects on a teen’s life.

Signs of a gambling problem among adults

While many people who gamble are responsible and have a healthy relationship with the activity, the following warning signs indicate a possible gambling disorder. Problem gamblers may isolate themselves from friends and family who don’t gamble and may even completely withdraw from the world. This is often fueled by manipulative and lying behavior. They may skip family events and neglect their jobs. Family members may express worry about the person’s problem gambling but may deny it. Worried family members may also express concern about the person’s spending habits, which can include making excuses for not paying back debts or delaying expenses.

Gambling addiction has negative effects on the sufferer’s health, relationship tension, and overall wellbeing. Some of the consequences of gambling include loss of control, anxiety, and GI problems. Problem gamblers are more likely to be at risk for depression, suicide, and a host of other health issues. It’s no wonder that suicide rates are higher in cities where gambling is legal. Additionally, many people with gambling problems experience depression and eating disorders.