Giving them the facts is the safest bet
Gambling is heavily promoted and more accessible than ever before. There’s growing concern over the way our teenagers are influenced by positive gambling messages through sport, advertising, online games and social media. These can give your child the wrong idea about how gambling actually works, making it seem like an easy, fun and normal way to make quick money. We know these kinds of attitudes can lead to difficulties down the track.
The good news is you are in a great position to help your child develop a balanced understanding of how gambling actually works, and you don’t need to be an expert on the topic to start a conversation. Health experts say talking about gambling with teenagers is just as important as talking about other situations where risk may be involved – like driving and drinking alcohol.
Teenagers are reportedly five times more likely than adults to experience harm from gambling. Because gambling can become an issue for teenagers, we suggest talking to them sooner rather than later. That way they will have a better chance of understanding the risks involved, what might be influencing their thinking and the limited chances of winning.
Opportune times to have these conversations include when you’re watching sport together and you see lots of betting ads, when betting is heavily promoted like during the Spring Racing Carnival, or when they are starting to earn their own money.
For more information, including ways to start conversations about gambling with your child, go to: lovethegame.vic.gov.au
Dianne Martin, Deputy Head of Senior School