Posted May 9, 2014 by John Baintree in News

Why the young need gambling warnings


Our young people, today, are growing up today in an environment where they are exposed to an air of normalcy around gambling as legalised gambling becomes commonly advertised, generally accepted and always available. In this context, it becomes increasingly important for parents to take an active role in preparing their children to meet the pressures that the advertising by this all pervading business can cause.

Gambling is a pastime that feeds a number of desires and in some cases will even sharpen those desires until problem gambling sets in. Young children need to be taught the subtleties that describe what gambling is and how it can affect your decision making before they begin to experience those desires.

For many adults, gambling is regarded as quite harmless. It is worth remembering that most adults today grew up in a world before gambling became deregulated. Without the levels of gambling we see today, most adults had a chance to reach adulthood with a well developed sense of what “harmless” actually was. For your children today, the constant barrage of advertising on TV, in magazines and of course on the internet, presents gambling as a completely normal pastime.

For many, it will become a harmless pleasure that makes sports events just that bit more enjoyable, but for other children it will become a source of desperation and misery because they have been unable to develop that sense of what is good and bad about the gambling experience. Without this, they simply fall prey to the buzz they from making a winning bet. In reality, whilst, not as immediately harmful as street heroin, uncontrolled exposure can lead to equally crippling levels of addiction.

Adults have it within their grasp to begin to change this situation. They should focus on raising the awareness of others about the dangers of gambling and should encourage schools and religious organisations to get involved with our young. Tey should focus on giving them the structure that teaches the idea of responsible gambling.

Parents should target schools to find out what they are doing to begin to combat the threat before we lose an entire generation of children to the hopelessness of gambling addiction. Our current relaxed approach to gambling came out of political naivety from within the last Labour government when they de-regulated the industry. Resposible adults should now be lobbying their political representatives to increase the pace of regulatory change until we have a framework that allows adults and children to enjoy the social benefits of gambling.