High School

In this section

Many teachers and administrators don’t believe gambling is an issue. However, school is reportedly one of the top three places students choose to gamble. By the age of 18, 56% of BC youth will have gambled.

Canadian researchers found that most adult 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. Youth most often refer to their gambling activities as “betting”; sports equipment, iPods, music, games, toys or favours may be won or lost when youth bet on an activity of chance. Research shows the earlier a young person starts to gamble, the more at risk they are of developing a problem.


We have several programming options for high school students, as well as for support staff, teachers and administrators. All Services and requisite resources are provided free of charge. Prevention Specialists will attend class and deliver the programming directly to the students.

View how our Program can help you meet Prescribed Learning Outcomes (PLOs):

For more information, call the Gambling Support Line @ 1.888.795.6111 or email info@bcresponsiblegambling.ca to be connected to a Prevention Specialist in your area.


Gambling Awareness for Secondary Schools

Download the Gam_iQ PDF brochure

Gam_iQ is a fun, engaging program for secondary students designed to raise awareness about the risks associated with gambling. Students use an iPad to take a short, animated quiz about gambling. Program goals are to:

  • promote informed choices about gambling by educating students about the risks involved
  • correct common myths youth believe about gambling
  • describe signs of a problem with gambling
  • inform students of the resources and services available in BC for gambling-related problems

Gam_iQ is delivered by a gambling prevention specialist, using an interactive booth and trained student volunteers. The program runs over one or more days, depending on the schedule of your school.

  View/download the brochure to learn more.

Betting on You is designed to increase students’ awareness of the risks involved in gambling. It builds on information learned in Grade 6 and 7 programming by including stimulating discussion about the possible consequences of problem gambling. Students are encouraged to brainstorm ways to reduce the harm associated with gambling.
Betting on Your Future explores the factors that influence youth in terms of gambling interest and participation. Interactive team games generate discussion about ways to reduce the risk if choosing to gamble; the signs of a problem with gambling are also explored. Students also learn about odds and the likelihood of winning at gambling; they explore and critically evaluate the common and sometimes powerful myths youth believe about gambling.

This program tackles factors that contribute to youth gambling, as well as the cognitive distortions that many young people hold about gambling. In the recent prevalence study, 56% of 18-24 year old agreed with the statement: “While gambling, you could win more if you used a certain system or strategy.” Dispelling common false beliefs associated with gambling is a key component of this curriculum and crucial to harm reduction in this population. Facilitators use case studies and skits to enhance the learning experience.

There are additional Marketing and Law Components that can be added to this presentation in order to meet Law 11/12 and Marketing 11/12 learning objectives.

Sixty-three percent of BC youth surveyed believe that gambling can lead to problems; 22% twenty-two percent of youth said that spending too much money gambling is a problem for friends/peers.

Betting on the Future: Training for Peer Helpers is designed for peer counselors, leadership students and other school leaders that would like to learn more about talking to peers about issues related to gambling. The curriculum is designed to build basic peer counselling skills taught in most schools. BOTF training can be delivered over one 7-hour day or in two 3.5-hour days, depending on student availability.

This workshop shares BC and Canadian statistics on youth gambling to help make the argument that this topic is relevant and important for school personnel to know about and be discussing with their students. Content includes information to increase student knowledge about gambling and teen trends in gambling, links between gaming and gambling, common myths teens believe about gambling, and signs of adolescent problem gambling.

Workshops can vary in content and duration, depending on the interests, needs and availability of school staff.

  » Download the handout, Information for Schools on Youth Gambling.

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