Your Own Gambling


Research tells us:

  • Approximately 40-82% of youth tend to gamble with family and friends.
  • The majority of parents do not appear to be concerned with their children’s gambling behaviour.
  • Approximately 80-90% of parents report that they are aware that their kids are gambling for money.
  • Parents frequently purchase lottery scratch tickets for their underage children.
  • 70% of adolescents received a lottery ticket as a present.
  • 78% of youth gamble in their own homes.

Whether you play the lottery, bingo, go to the casino or have a poker night with friends and family, practicing health gambling as a parent is the best way to help ensure that your child will grow up with healthy gambling habits.

How does your own gambling rate?

The first thing to consider is whether or not you feel you have healthy gambling habits. Consider the following questions:

  • Have you bet more than you could afford to lose?
  • Do you go back another day and try to win back the money you lost?
  • Do you need to gamble with larger amounts of money to get the same feeling of excitement?
  • Have you ever borrowed money or sold anything to get money to gamble?
  • Has gambling ever caused you any health problems, including stress or anxiety?
  • Has gambling caused financial problems for you and your household?

If you said yes to any of these questions, you may have a problem. Click here to get a list of gambling help services, resources and links.

How may this affect my child?

Children are sensitive to their parents’ stress and worries. If you have a problem with gambling, it may affect your children in a number of ways:

  • They may feel a sense of loss – a loss of trust, loss of security, a loss of family togetherness
  • They may feel angry – they may say that it is unfair that they suffer as a consequence of a parent’s gambling (i.e. because of a lack of money or time spent as a family).
  • Boredom – especially if they have to accompany a parent while they gamble.
  • Poor school performance
  • Withdrawal from friends and activities

Healthy Suggestion: If you do gamble, set healthy limits on how much you gamble, how long you gamble and how often you gamble. Practicing healthy gambling practices is not only good for you, but also good for your children, relationships and family.

Derevensky, J., Gupta, R., Hardoon, K., Dickson, L. & Deguire, A. “Youth Gambling” in Gambling: Who
Wins? Who Loses?, ed. Gerda Reith, New York: Prometheus Books, 2003.
Wynne, H., Smith, G (2002). Measuring Gambling and Problem Gambling in Alberta. Final Report: Using
the Canadian Problem Gambling Index, CPGI. Prepared for the Alberta Research Gambling Institute, February 2002.