Parents & Kids, Teens

In this section

It is important to talk to your kids about gambling. Parents play a crucial role in limiting gambling opportunities and managing problem gambling risk.

Do you know…

  • School is one of the top three places students choose to gamble.
  • Giving your children scratch’n’win or lottery tickets is taking a risk with your child’s future.

Sixty-seven percent of Canadian youth recently studied report that their parents are buying lottery tickets or instant win tickets for them to play. Most parents don’t realize that these “informal betting games” at school or at home are still gambling. Having a child participate in gambling can lead to problems later in that child’s life.

Participation in gambling can be very confusing for children and youth. They may not understand the value of the wager being gambled or the consequences of losing it. While parents may know how many days, months or years they’ve been buying lottery tickets, their children may not. If kids witness a win, and the excitement and sometimes relief that can accompany it, they may form skewed beliefs about the importance of winning at gambling and the odds of winning at gambling. Such beliefs can lead to dangerous behaviours later in life if those same kids grow up and participate in gambling in order to repeat that win.

The earlier children participate in gambling, the more at risk they are of developing a problem. Canadian researchers found that most problem gamblers began gambling, on average, at the age of 10. In BC, the average age to start gambling is 13. By the age of 18, 56% of BC youth will have gambled.

Betting on Your Child’s Future: Parents are Partners
in Gambling Prevention
(Workshop)

Research suggests that 56% of BC parents “rarely” or “never” discuss gambling related issues with their teen. 13% of BC parents believe their child has gambled for money however, by the time young people reach the age of 18, at least 56% of them will have gambled. This presentation is to raise awareness amongst parents and caregivers about youth gambling. It describes the forms of gambling youth are engaged in, myths that may drive their participation in gambling, factors that can contribute to the development of a problem, signs of a problem, and suggestions for ways parents can approach the issue of gambling with their children.

Prevention Specialists will attend PAC or other formal or informal parent groups to deliver free programming. Content and duration of workshop can be tailored to meet group needs. For more information, call the BC Problem Gambling Help Line @ 1.888.795.6111 or email info@bcresponsiblegambling.ca to be connected to a Prevention Specialist in your area.

Know Dice: Gambling Awareness for Parents (Booklet)

Know Dice: Gambling Awareness for Parents
This informative booklet is full of tips and tools for talking to your kids about gambling. Content is designed for parents/guardians of children up to 12 years old.
Request a free copy or copies for your family
or organization
Download a PDF version of the booklet

Parents as Partners: Talking to your Child about Responsible
& Problem Gambling
(Booklet)

Parents as Partners: Talking to your Child about Responsible & Problem Gambling
This informative booklet is full of information to help you understand the risks and manage them with your teen. Content is designed for parents/guardians of youth ages 13-18.
Request a free copy or copies for your family
or organization
Download a PDF version of the booklet

Statistics and research cited above from: DECODE, Parents as Partners.
Summary of Topline Quantitative National Findings, 2009.