Blurry Lines Between Gaming and Gambling: Info for Educators

| October 4, 2017

Have you heard any of your students talking about fantasy sports, “skins,” or online poker?

From phones to laptops to tablets, electronic gaming is more accessible than ever.  Within this world, lines can be pretty blurry between gaming and gambling when someone pays for extra “lives” or bonuses on gaming apps.

Most people don’t even consider that many youth are spending money–and gambling–on apps. Youth have access to debit and other prepaid cards that allow them to gamble for money or video gaming swag (like “skins”) online. The truth is, while most people don’t have problems when they gamble, more young people are developing problems with gambling.

As educators, you play an important role in the prevention of problem behaviors among young people.

Three key points to know about youth gambling:

  1. Gambling behavior tends to go along with other risky behaviors.  Many people think that poker cards among friends is totally safe because young people are not drinking or smoking.
    Many teens already have gambling problems.  It may only be a harmless bet of a dollar or two, but it can become a lot more serious. An Oregon study showed six percent of Oregon teens are at risk or have a gambling problem. Consequences of problem gambling include more than lost money–depression, social withdrawal, and school dropout are just a few of the consequences of a gambling problem.
  2. Teens are only a few years away from being adults who can gamble legally.  Honest education about gambling is important to preparing young people to make responsible choices.

Source: Oregon Health Authority


Can we help?

Problem gambling prevention efforts are meant to supplement your current classroom activities–not to add more work for you. Our material is in alignment with Oregon Health Education Standards, Promotion of Mental, Social and Emotional Health(benchmarks: Accessing Information, Analyzing Influences, Decision Making).

Some resources we can offer you:

  • In-class interactive, informative, and fun workshops:
    • Educate youth on responsible, healthy choices
    • Help youth recognize the difference between responsible and problem gambling
    • Provide resources for which youth can seek help for family or friends who might have a gambling problem
  • Adding an easy plug-in component to your existing alcohol, tobacco, or other drug curriculum
  • Presentations to educators, administrators, and parent groups
  • Art contests (visit the poster gallery)
  • Video contests (see past videos here)
  • Student incentives
  • And more–contact us!


Category: Problem Gambling

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