Parents or responsible adults are the best people to have initial conversations about responsible gambling with young people. A relationship of trust and honesty is important in making room for young people to ask questions. Most parents believe that gambling is
The purpose of an initial conversation should be to find out whether the young person has any thoughts or opinions on gambling, establish it as a behavior which requires responsibility, and let the young person know that you are happy to talk to them in a non-judgmental way.
A good time to bring up problem gambling might be when talking about drugs/alcohol, around discussions on chance and probability, or when gambling is advertised to them in the media. Young people are exposed to gambling from young ages, so use your judgement to see when a young person is ready to have the conversation.
This conversation shouldn’t be a one-off. Keep bringing the topic up, so that the young person understands it’s ok to discuss gambling and even problematic gambling openly.
‘Hidden harm’ is a term which comes from the drug
and alcohol field, and refers to the impact of the
problem gambling of an adult on a young person
who is dependent on them. Hidden harm is an
emerging area of research in the field of problem
Most parents believe that gambling is harmless fun
and evidence suggests that parents are far less likely
to talk to their children about problem gambling than they are about other risky behaviours, such as alcohol and drug misuse or safe sex.
Parents may think that social gambling for children is fun, however by facilitating underage gambling they are helping a child to commit a criminal offence.
New types of gambling emerge all the time; often they go unregulated and can be quite difficult to understand. We have put together some guidance on understanding the issue in the link below. For more information, please visit our Understanding Gambling pages.Download our online gambling factsheet