Discuss gambling and its potential risks with your kids. Examine your own attitudes and habits around gambling. Remember, you are the most important role model for your kids.
Know where your kids are going online and what they're doing. Establish clear rules about what online games your children can play and keep Internet-connected computers in an open area, not in your children's bedrooms.
Take advice from the experts. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission advises parents to convey to their kids the following risks associated with online gambling:
You can lose your money. Online gambling operations are in business to make a profit. They take in more money than they pay out.
You can ruin a good credit rating. Online gambling generally requires the use of a credit card. If kids rack up debt online, they could ruin their credit rating - or their parent's.
Online gambling can be addictive. Because Internet gambling is a solitary activity, people can gamble uninterrupted and undetected for hours at a time. Gambling in social isolation and using credit to gamble may be risk factors for developing gambling problems.
Gambling is illegal for kids. Every state prohibits gambling by minors. That's why gambling sites don't pay out to kids and go to great lengths to verify the identity of any winner.
Need more information about online gambling in general? Check out this brochure from the Saskatchewan division of the Canadian Mental Health Association.
For Internet Gambling Statistics
The results of the Annenberg Public Policy Center’s 2005 National Annenberg Risk Survey of Youth (NAESY) indicate that approximately 580,000 young people ages 14 to 22 gamble on the Internet on a weekly basis. Most of these young people are under age 21.
Our thanks to the Oregon Dept. of Health for permission to use their materials on youth poker.