teenage gambling addiction

Latest Facts About Teen Gambling Addiction

Evidence obtained from the USA shows that 1.1 million teens are addicted to gambling. This binge spending is done by teens risking their future to gain a lot of money and save themselves from the financial problems that their parents can’t solve for them. Parents are also blamed for being unable to identify when their teenagers become addicted as they themselves gamble or spend to save.
Gambling like playing cards at home, bingo, lottery tickets, or scratchy cards starts as early as the age of 15 in teens’ life. Some may develop gambling problems in later adolescence, like horse racing and sports betting.
It is quite common for adolescents to access casino websites online. With the internet boom, young people are often getting exposed to these gambling schools.
The research and clinical implication on adolescent gambling underlined the following risk factors for gambling disorders: having an early age of first activity (6 years old), having parents with gaming problems, possessing greater impulsivity, and having poor functioning in school, medical, psychiatric, and substance use behaviors.
As per the longitudinal studies on adolescent gambling behavior, it is observed that more than 4 to 5% of young people belonging to the age group of 12-17 would have gambling problems.

On the other hand, 10 to 14% of the young adult population falls under the risk of getting into severe addiction which would then need treatments for teen internet addiction, teen alcohol addiction, teen nicotine addiction, or teen drug addiction treatment, if failed to pay attention to early risk signs.

Also, read our guide on what are the solutions for teen drug addiction.

Also, as per the teenage gambling facts, New York teens are more drawn by the big win money mentioned on the sports betting sites.
In addition, Derevensky j and Gilbeau indicate sports betting, board games, bingo, lottery, and video games are other forms of problem gambling that attract teens easily.

As per the prevalence study, adolescent gambling has been a major concern in high school students, with 60 to 80% of adults being exposed to slot machines and lottery tickets through online casinos.

4 to 6% of young people are said to have developed pathological gambling behavior.

Also, as per HHS Author journal , boys are more drawn to betting and gambling when compared to girls.

Introduction to Adolescent Problem Gambling

Many adults get attracted to gambling right from their school days, which then turns out to be an addictive behavior. Due to the severe urge to indulge in these gambling activities, teens might start developing problem gambling symptoms, a pretty tough condition at a young age itself.
As per the International journal of behaviorial consultation the results obtained through a systematic review of the sampling by Greenberg & Marks, states that teens with problem gambling might have developed resistance to treatment. Parents can play an essential role in helping teens with gambling problems by instilling a positive attitude towards life and earning money.
The gambling problem isn’t just physical as it also affects the psyche of the teens as it conquers the ability to reason. Young teens into addictive behaviors would constantly develop signs of insomnia, memory retention issues, and loss of appetite. It would also start reflecting on their academics as they would start facing troubles in thinking clearly and remembering things. It becomes challenging for parents to manage moody teens who may also have anxiety and even begin drifting towards being depressed too.
Excessive usage of mobile and easy access to the internet has led many children and adults towards online gambling activities. During adolescence, making more money craving reaches its peak, especially when surrounded by peers, as the brain remodels its dopaminergic system. During this time, to satisfy their adventure instinct, teens are drawn toward substance abuse, alcohol, playing, cards, internet addiction, and other activities.
Many adults start as social gamblers, which is less risky when compared to pathological gambling. Teens that have reached the pathological gambling state would start playing recklessly despite losing their bets. They would only be driven by the fantasy of winning money and would have lost total control.

Signs of Teen Gambling Addiction

Underage gambling is hard to spot at an earlier age of the gambling problems. A student will experience withdrawal symptoms that include
  • Missing classes or entire school days with no explanation
  • Poor academic performance
  • Borrow money from friends or relatives
  • Increased time on the internet
  • Being secretive
  • Addicted to stealing
  • Lack of interest in extracurricular activities.
If you have a child showing signs of problem gambling, don’t wait until they have ruined their lives. Call us where the line is always open — and we’ll guide you through the process of seeking treatment for your child.

How can I protect my teen from teen gambling addiction?

Here are ways how parents can help their teens to recover from gambling problems:

Educate Your Children about Side Effects of Gambling

The best way to prevent your teen from gambling is to have honest communication with a teen about the dangers and consequences. Encourage the teen to understand that placing bets is a short-term thrill but one that certainly comes at a price. Also, make them aware that sports betting and youth gambling are illegal in the US and can share examples of how someone ended up in jail because of this bad habit. Though the decision will be up to your child, all you can do is try to help them make an informed choice.

Monitoring gambling teens

Parents who watch their teens’ activities are doing a great job. As per the reports published by the Public Health department, Columbia, parents monitoring is essential. Young people aged 11-14 left unsupervised become more susceptible to gambling problems. In addition, these youths start developing the symptoms of gambling problems even before they are 22. Thus, keeping a watch on both physical and behavioral changes of your teenage adults could help them keep gambling activities at bay.

Preventing teenage gambling problems

Preventing teenage gambling problems would help in creating a responsible individual for society. It can be done through:
  • Educating young people at home and in schools about the adolescent problem of gambling.
  • Helping them understand the lifestyle of a problematic gambler through videos, books, or seminars.
  • Giving teenagers complete freedom to live their lives by setting the right expectations and clear rules and making them understand adolescent gambling behavior frequently.
  • Including the teenagers in healthy conversations and creating a space free of these addictions.
  • Introducing them to programs that emphasize the risks involved in gambling

Finding Help for Underage Gambling addiction

Underage addiction to gambling can be a nightmare for parents, and it can be exhausting to pull your child from gambling problems.
Unfortunately, because of how teen brains are wired, these gamblers are less successful in resisting temptation—even though they might be fully aware of the dangers. This means that special measures need to be taken to treat their addiction. Just as with an adult gambling addict, a treatment program needs to address the cause of teen gambling. Whether it’s teen mental health treatment, teen depression treatment or ADHD Treatment , our activities and therapies can help teens work through that underlying issue and break free from the need to gamble.

Speaking to teenage adults and finding out their need to gamble is the first step towards a solution, followed by constant monitoring. In the later stages, seeking professional help through exclusive programs and therapies can help them heal themselves faster.

Adult teens would usually start gambling to improve their financial status and under peer pressure. Therefore, understanding these aspects would also be a great move to eliminate the gambling problem sooner. Apart from all these things, parents can build trust with a positive attitude and a bond of love with their children, which would also help them stay away from addiction.


  1. How does gambling affect teens? Teen gambling addiction alters the brain development in adults to a greater extent. The thrill they get during these online video gaming activities releases high levels of dopamine, which can be at early risk as the brain’s reward system gets hijacked completely.
  2. How do I stop my kid from gambling? Develop a healthy relationship, and have a friendly conversation with them frequently. It also becomes essential to keep them educated about gambling and other forms of addiction as it helps build awareness.
  3. What are three warning signs of gambling addiction in adults? Restlessness, mood swings, and trouble sleeping are the three significant warning signs of gambling addiction in adults.
  4. Is compulsive gambling a mental illness? Compulsive gambling can be regarded as a mental illness as they would also have developed personality disorders, depression, substance abuse problems, and anxiety.
  5. What age group is most addicted to gambling? Determining the exact age group of people falling into this addiction is impossible as it keeps varying. However, teenagers, children of age 10 and above, and adults until 55 are prone to gambling addiction.
  6. What mental illness causes gambling? A young adult would start to gamble only out of thrill. Thus, there is no mental illness responsible for people gambling. However, teenagers involved in compulsive gambling might face many mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
  7. Why are some teens at greater risk for gambling addiction? Teenagers want to experience an adrenaline rush in everything they do. Gambling is one of the high dopamine releasers; the risk is pretty high. The necessity of achieving the impossible and standing out amongst their peers, abusive childhood, disputes among family members, and poor financial conditions could also be the risk factors towards gambling.