Most young people don't consider playing cards, video games or “personal challenges” like a dare for money to be gambling. Yet most teens have been gambling for years, not the way adults gamble at casinos or racetracks, but through casual betting with friends or family. A recent adolescent gambling survey identified a distinction between “betting” and “gambling”. They viewed the word gambling as more negative or “sinister” than betting, which was perceived as “casual”. Casual betting between friends or family was seen as not really gambling.
What is gambling?
Gambling is "the act of risking money or something else of value on an activity with an uncertain outcome."
Playing cards or video games for money, buying raffle tickets, betting on who's going to win the next game of pool, or wagering your favorite CD on the outcome of a sports event - it's all gambling.
For most of you, it's just for fun. It's a way of making the game more challenging, more exciting. But for some of you, gambling becomes a serious problem.
What is problem gambling?
Problem gambling is any gambling behavior that has a harmful effect on your life or the lives of people close to you, parents, brothers and sisters, your friends. If your gambling is causing you to fall behind on your schoolwork, have arguments with family or friends, or worry about money you have lost, it is considered to be "problem gambling.
Who is at risk for gambling problems?
Anyone who gambles can develop a gambling problem. If you begin at a young age and if gambling is a frequent activity in your home or among your friends, you are at greater risk for developing a problem. You may not experience any problems at first, but problems may develop later on. Often, people with gambling problems have troubles in other areas of their lives such as feeling lonely or arguing with their parents.
Where can you go for help?