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Gambling & Teenagers: Risks & Prevention

There are many factors that go into parenting and raising your children, arguably the teenage phase is more complicated and delicate than other parenting phases. Your child starts to go through various changes, their personality develops a lot more and they start to pick up habits and hobbies that could impact them for life. 

Among these habits, many children may find themselves experimenting with gambling – it could be a slot game for free on an app store, a friendly game of poker among their friends or they may start using real money and play at casinos recommended by Nettibingo. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There are skills and developments they could learn through this experience. Patience, responsibility, accountability and self-control are just a few that could benefit your teenager.

Here, we have Maunu Seppinen, an expert in the iGaming industry, is here to share some tips and advice for parents who have teenagers that are trying their hand at gambling. While placing wagers and becoming familiar with the casino and sports betting industry has benefits, there is still a risk that your child may develop an addiction. Our expert will explain how to go about knowing the risks and what you can do to avoid addiction and other dangers. 

Four to five percent of 12 to 17-year-olds meet at least one criteria of having a gambling problem. Another ten to fourteen percent of teenagers are at risk of developing an addiction.


Let’s start here with the risk factors that may lead your child into developing a gambling problem now or later in life. Some of these factors include:

  • Access to gambling at schools, with friends or on the internet
  • Starts gambling at a young age, gambles a lot or wins big early in life
  • Smokes, drinks or uses drugs
  • Has problems at school
  • Has a parent with a gambling-related problem
  • May have an excitable, impulsive, sensation-seeking personality or prone to risk-taking

A little bit of gambling might seem like it’s safe. A third of adults who have problems with gambling and seek help got their start as teenagers. These young adults who gamble may be at risk for harmful behaviour such as:

  • Anti-social behaviour
  • School truancy or poor school achievement
  • Smoking, binge drinking and drug use
  • Higher rates of depression and anxiety
  • Loss of friendships with non-gambling peers


You may have trouble telling if your child has a gambling problem. They don’t always have the same financial issues that adults have when they gamble. Here are some warning signs that your child may have a gambling problem:

  • Your child has sudden changes in the amount of money he or she has. This can reveal itself as your child is short of money, and/or he or she is borrowing money from family or friends.
  • Your child may have changes in their sleep patterns, energy levels, mood or irritability when away from gambling.
  • Your child may begin failing at school.
  • Your child may withdraw from friends, social activities and events.
  • Your child may have a positive attitude towards gambling, or a preoccupation with video arcades, gambling sites, sports results or simulated gambling apps.
  • Your child now focuses on sports odds, not the sport itself.
  • Your child may keep his or her gambling a secret or deny that there is a problem.
  • Your child likes the rush he or she feels when gambling.
  • Your child plays online and doesn’t have a problem using a credit card to gamble
  • Your child begins to sell his or her personal belongings.
  • Your child steals and lies.
  • Your child appears distracted and anxious. He or she can be moody or depressed.
  • Your child breaks curfew regularly.


You can help prevent your child from having a teenage gambling problem. Here are some of the things you can do:

  • Explain how gambling works: When your child is in the upper years of primary school, they should be ready to learn about gambling.
  • Explain the odds of winning games.
  • Think about family attitudes and activities: Your attitude towards gambling can influence your child.
  • Look out for the warning signs: Make sure that your child has other ways than gambling to cope with boredom, stress, or other problems.

You can do other things to help your children use parental controls and set limits on the time they spend on apps and the internet. Keep talking to your children.


While some teenagers can gamble socially and not develop issues, you should keep a look out for the warning signs, just to be on the safe side. Child gambling in video games can lead to more intense gambling in other areas.