What is gambling?

Teen gambling is becoming a popular past time now a days. Gambling means taking part in any activity or game where you risk money or a valuable object in order to win money or other stuff.

Why do teens do it?

Most teens gamble for fun and excitement. Some purely because they are bored and lonely.

Is it wrong to gamble?

Many young teens gamble for fun. It remains safe when you gamble small.

For some people, gambling can become as serious an addiction as drugs, tobacco, or alcohol.

REMEMBER: What starts off as fun and small may take you to serious addiction to gambling.  

You should be aware of this risk.

Teens who gamble are at risk of:

  • Alcohol & binge drinking

  • Drug use, including marijuana

  • Suicidal thoughts and attempts

  • School problems (e.g., lower grades, truancy, behavior issues)

  • Violent behavior

  • Risky sexual behavior

  • Family problems

  • Peer relationship problems

  • Legal and money troubles

You may come across some of your friends who may be suffering from gambling addiction

When do you suspect that your friend may be addicted to gambling?

Key signs of addiction are:

  • Asking for/borrowing money from family or friends

  • Owns gambling materials

  • Unexplained time away from home, work, or school

  • Behavior change (seems distracted, moody, sad, worried, etc.)

  • Intense interest in gambling conversations

  • Playing gambling-type games on the Internet

  • Selling personal belongings

  • Deteriorating school performance

  • Stealing in school

How do you “get out” of gambling addiction?

  • Once you realise that you are addicted, you may want to ask for help from others.

  • Get help from people you trust. Approach family members, friends, teachers, coach or religious leaders. You can do it alone but it helps with support from other reliable individual/groups.

  • You may need to set your goals gradually as it is often difficult to kick the habit instantly.

  • Start a gambling diary.

  • Record the type of gambling and the amount of money you spend.

  • This will help you to understand your problem better.

  • Try writing down how you felt before and after the gambling session. It will help you to reflect on yourself.

  • Find alternatives activities to gambling such as sports. Many teens do not know what else to do during their free time. Explore other activities and hobbies.

  • Trust yourself. With perseverance and a little bit of help from others you should succeed in kicking the habit.

  • See a doctor if you can’t get rid of this habit yourself.

Last Reviewed : 29 Mei 2014
Writer : Dr. Thiyagar Nadarajaw
Accreditor : Dr. Hargeet Kaur A/P Basant Singh