In recent years it has been highlighted that the participation in gambling amongst secondary school students has been on the rise. Teenagers are unknowingly walking a very thin line when it comes to their involvement in gambling.
In New Zealand the gambling law states that if you want to partake in pokies, TAB and scratchy gambling you need to be over the age of 18, and to gamble in a casino the age is 20.
However, many of you may not know this, but while students may think betting is all fun and games, they could be setting themselves up for failure.
According to Andree Froude the Problem Gambling Foundation communications director, young adults are getting gambling and gambling-like games thrown at them constantly and claim that gambling has become the norm in New Zealand.
The foundation has received an alarming amount of calls from concerned parents regarding mobile apps that simulated gambling games.
The apps are aimed at children and mimic gambling scenarios, for instance, daily bonuses and playing with virtual money for pokies machines. Froude said: “They might be virtual money but they are that close and there’s a very fine line” and that the term “grooming” may be a strong word but that’s what these games ultimately do.
The cycle starts when students become rather good at the game, leading them to try their luck at the real thing. There is a lot that can be done to bring awareness to the issue and also to prevent it.
For instance, casinos and gambling host responsibilities could be improved, and education in schools can also help children realize the risk factors involved with gambling.
Although schools are usually the first to notice when gambling is happening amongst students and could play a bigger role in preventing gambling problems in our youth, there is not yet a policy in place to actively tackle the issue head-on.
Froude said problems that form in young adults earlier in life usually become apparent later on. Although many teenagers involved in some form of gambling may appear to not have negative impacts on their health, previous research done has recorded that many youngsters do go on to suffer serious mental problems, including depression and attempted suicide.
With all that is known, it is evident that it is up to parents and schools to educate young adults about what the dangers are with gambling and what to do to prevent a seriously bad habit from forming, resulting in future struggles.
Do you have a problem with gambling or know of someone who does? Need advice on how to guide and teach your child about healthy decision making when dabbling in online games?
We can help. us and one of Education Forums’ team members will assist you with finding the right help for you and your family.
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