As gambling gets more and more popular, more kids are also betting on sports
With the Super Bowl this weekend, many will gamble on the game including kids.
With sports gambling being legal in many states including Delaware, it’s being promoted a lot - so much so it’s now normalized for everyone, including kids.
According to the Delaware Council on Gambling Problems 44% of Delaware eighth graders have gambled at least once in the past year. And 66% of parents have never discussed gambling with their kids.
John Schmidt is the Prevention Services Coordinator for youth with the Delaware Council on Gambling Problems. He says a heightened interest when others talk gambling is just one warning sign a child could have gambling issues.
"You happen to see your child's phone, and all they have on there is DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet, MGM bet, Fox bet, BetRivers, whatever you'll know that you're probably engaging or trying to engage in some gambling activity. And just being more interested in sports in general would be another sign,” said Schmidt. “Obviously money issues, right? Owing money, asking for money, spending more money, and of course sometimes there's a lot of lying that goes with that but that's usually not unearthed until it's realized that the person has a gambling addiction."
Schmidt says as gambling becomes more pervasive and common - it becomes normalized for everyone, including kids.
"For kids it's not just about the apps, which are really only for adults to play, but the exposure to these apps. And the exposure to how they present gambling as such a fun and exciting thing, a glamorous thing, and for kids that's something that obviously could be appealing to them. It's appealing enough to adults so imagine how much more it could be appealing for kids," said Schmidt.
Schmidt adds there are also instances where video games and online games have also normalized gambling.
He notes gambling addiction can be compared to other addictions like drugs and alcohol -- if you start younger, it’s easier to get hooked, and there could be destructive consequences.
Schmidt notes two websites – Dangerouslevels.org and parentaltools.org – can help parents understand more. Also for those with a gambling problem or addiction there’s deproblemgambling.org. You can also call the helpline at (888) 850-8888.