The modern world we inhabit continually offers us what can be reasonably be described as an ever-increasing, almost unfathomable, variety of entertainment choices. These choices are presented to the public and compete for their attention using various strategies ranging from internet advertising, traditional commercials like TV and Billboards, word-of-mouth and various other means.
One of the offers, quietly buried among the oh-so many advertised is the opportunity to gamble. This ranges from long-running campaigns like “All you need is a dollar and a dream” (Lotto), to brand new ones, based on brand new, and still evolving technologies, like “Welcome to the Big Time” (Draft Kings)”.
These commercial offers, like advertisements to for smoking or drinking, come with (somewhat vague) warnings addressed to both adults who can legally gamble and also teens and/or underage viewers—who legally cannot. However, when we consider the various factors involved and how they play out practically, some valid concerns are also presented for consideration.
By testimony of professional experience, I would submit that current state of awareness regarding problem gambling is minimal compared with other potentially addictive activities. Amid this context of limited awareness among youth, their parents and even their educators, a wide variety and increasingly more accessible selection of gambling forms is emerging, being commercialized and finally presented with all the power of modern marketing, through evolving technologies that are hard to keep up with.
Also, when we contemplate the state of the developing brain, which standardly promotes the desire for risk and play to the developing mind, the concern continues. Not only do these growing brains (typically) naturally desire to experience the exciting risks and sensational rewards gambling portrays, but they are also the brains most likely to undergo permanent damage by fulfilling this desire.
Consider behavior and consequences, which is what almost every parent concerns themselves with, data indicates that the number of teens gambling in the U.S. is increasing and that teens who develop gambling problems will standardly undergo negatives effects in almost every area of their lives, including family relationships, academic focus and hope for the future.
Speaking from experience I can tell you I have received calls from many concerned parents, not only of teens but for sons and daughters of all ages—and it is, without exception, heartbreaking.
If you have such a concern, call me and we can discuss. And if you want to learn more about this important subject – underage gambling – click the link below.