Gambling addiction is a concern across all populations and is a growing problem among youth. Therefore, it is up to all of us to be attentive to the gifts we select for children.
SANFORD, Fla. (PRWEB) December 12, 2022
The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling (FCCG), in partnership with the National Council on Problem Gambling, is urging parents and adults to take the time necessary to determine what gifts might be best for children this holiday season. “The Gift Responsibly campaign, during National Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month in December is an opportunity for adults to be reminded that certain games and forms of entertainment, such as lottery tickets and scratch offs, are not harmless activities,” explained Jennifer Kruse, Executive Director of the FCCG. Research findings show a direct relationship with receiving lottery tickets and scratch offs during childhood with risky, problematic gambling later in life . “Gambling addiction is a concern across all populations and is a growing problem among youth. Therefore, it is up to all of us to be attentive to the gifts we select for children,” Kruse added.
Each year, parents and others find themselves uncertain of what gifts might be best for a child or teenager. In many cases, shoppers opt for gift cards because they allow recipients the freedom to purchase what they want. Others may choose to buy video games, while some may place lottery tickets or scratch offs in a holiday card or stocking stuffer. However, while adults may believe these options appear harmless, it is essential to keep the following in mind:
- Gift cards work well when parents and adults monitor how they are used.
- Some video games contain gambling like features, so it’s essential to research the item prior to purchasing.
- Lottery games are never appropriate for minors and equally important, youth are unaware of the associated risks of gambling.
At times minors are gaining access to gambling because parents and other unknowing adults are providing entry. Further, despite the legal gambling age of 18, Florida prevalence research revealed 18.5% of adolescents ages 13-17 reported purchasing lottery tickets in their lifetime and 12.5% within the past year . In addition, the study found :
- Lifetime participation rates for gambling neared 70%.
- Over 40% reported gambling in the past year and 11.5% identified as weekly gamblers.
- Adolescent problem gamblers also had much higher rates of alcohol, drug, and tobacco use.
Exacerbating matters is Florida schools still do not educate children about gambling addiction, limiting instruction to alcohol and substance abuse. “Therefore, as parents and loved ones, we need to educate our children about the consequences of gambling. We also need to spend more time on gifting responsibly because it matters. It’s also imperative that we identify creative ideas for presents that encourage time spent with loved ones and do not break our budgets or our holiday spirit this season,” concluded Kruse.
Finally, if you are concerned about your own, a child or another loved one’s gambling, help is available 24/7. One contact to Your One Sure Thing, 888-ADMIT-IT, is confidential and multilingual, and can secure the assistance needed. The Problem Gambling HelpLine may be reached by phone (888-ADMIT-IT), text (321-978--0555), live chat (gamblinghelp.org), email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.
The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, Inc. (FCCG) is a not-for-profit corporation under contract with Florida State government, serving as the designated state affiliate of the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG). In addition to operating the 24-hour Problem Gambling HelpLine (888-ADMIT-IT), the FCCG increases awareness of problem gambling through education and outreach efforts throughout the state of Florida, advocates on behalf of the public regarding issues relating to problem gambling, and provides programs, resources, and other population specific supports to those in need of assistance.
1. National Council on Problem Gambling. “Gift Responsibly Campaign”, https://www.ncpgambling.org/programs-resources/gift-responsibly-campaign/.
2. Shapira, N. A., Ferguson, M. A., Frost-Pineda, K., & Gold, M. S. (2002). Gambling and Problem Gambling Prevalence among Adolescents in Florida.