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Contemporary Parenting Questions


Last updated on 09/21/08

Do teenagers gamble?

Although many adults think that gambling is just for Native American reservations and Atlantic City, studies indicate that more than 70 percent of youth between the ages of 10 and 17 gambled in the past year, up from 45 percent in 1988. Almost one in three high school students gamble on a regular basis, according to the National Academy of Sciences. Playing cards, the lottery, and scratch tickets as well as betting on sporting events are the most popular forms of gambling among teenagers. Although these forms of gambling may not seem dangerous, their effects can be quite costly. Gambling is highly addictive and can cause a teenager to gamble away his or her life’s savings in a few minutes. Fortunately, gambling addictions can be prevented. Parents must learn about gambling addiction in teenagers so they will be able to speak to their children about gambling before it becomes a problem. If your child does have a gambling problem, seek help immediately; it is a matter of life and death.

In the Jewish Community

”There is a gambling establishment located above one of the more popular restaurants in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. It is run and operated by non-religious people from the former Soviet Union and is almost exclusively frequented by frum, white-shirted kids,” writes Rabbi Yakov Horowitz in “Reflective Parenting”. Although many choose to deny it, gambling has infiltrated the Jewish Community. Whether it is with lottery tickets, online gambling, or the frequenting of establishments such as the one mentioned above, Jewish teens are susceptible to gambling addictions as are all other teenagers. Anyone with internet access and a credit card can gamble away his or her life’s savings in the privacy of their home in a matter of minutes. Although treatment is available for compulsive gamblers, prevention is even better. With an increased awareness of the problem, parents and educators will be able to prevent compulsive gambling from starting.

Use the following links to educate yourself about gambling. Learn how and why teenagers gamble and how to recognize if your child has a problem.

Frequently Asked Links

What is gambling?

What are some of the myths about gambling?

Do teenagers gamble?

Why do teens gamble?

Is gambling illegal for teenagers?

What are the problems with gambling?

How can gambling ruin a child’s future?

Why is online gambling a problem?

How can gambling become an addiction?

What are some of the signs of compulsive gambling?

Can a gambling addiction cause sleep deprivation?

Is gambling as serious as an alcohol or drug addiction?

Is gambling a problem in the Jewish Community?

By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

Are gambling addictions curable?

How is problem gambling treated?

How can I talk to my child about gambling?

Related Articles

Types of Addiction


A list of resources for the Jewish Community

Compiled by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

Gamblers Hotline at 1-800-522-4700

The Keystone Treatment Center

Gamblers Anonymous

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