Gambling Away Their Future

From the February 2005 Trumpet Print Edition

Millions of American teenagers are addicted to gambling, and many have their parents’ approval. Poker, dice and the lottery are among the favorite games teens are trying their hand at.

According to cbs News, 30 percent of high school students gamble periodically (July 14, 2003). Many parents admit they would rather their children play cards in the basement than go out.

Gambling equipment is in high demand at retail stores. Internet gambling is also gaining momentum, especially among teens who have access to credit cards. One big reason for the rise in popularity is the way gambling is glamorized on television.

Perhaps the easiest place for kids to gamble is at their own school.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, those who gamble before the age of 20 are three times more likely to become compulsive gamblers (Dec. 22, 2004).

Young gamblers have a higher chance of developing addiction problems than an adult. Gambling addiction experts warn that even small-time gambling can lead to other high-risk activities. Studies show these teenagers are more likely to drink, use illegal substances, and have psychiatric problems.