Video transcript: What's the big deal? Talking to teens about gambling – parents’ guide

Text: Gambling has changed. Play for free. Win.

Title text: What's the big deal. Talking to teens about gambling.

Dad one: I think it's advertised far too much on television. I think it's ridiculous.

Dad two: Every commercial that comes across has always got one thing about gambling.

Dad three: It looks so glamorous just to make a sports bet.

Mum one: Watch the horses and they are asking you to bet.

Mum two: They're just throwing gambling down your throat now.

Dad four: I really hate it. I go to the footy and it's all around the ground.

Dad three: Bet on the football. Bet on a game. Bet on an outcome.

Dad five: I think that's a really disturbing thing.

Dad four: I've never thought of it as a teenage problem.

Text: What parents need to know about under-age gambling.

Samantha Thomas: Research suggests that about eighty per cent of young people will engage in some form of gambling before they're eighteen. And that may include the informal types of gambling, like gambling with their friends. But also the things that we don't necessarily think of as very risky. So lottery tickets, raffles and so on.

Text: Samantha Thomas, Associate Professor of Public Health, University of Woollongong

Samantha Thomas: Statistics show that about three to four per cent of children will develop a problem with gambling.

And I guess the biggest change is the move away from what we call land-based gambling, so going into a TAB outlet, and now being able to gamble on a whole range of electronic devices. And most common of those is your mobile phone. Your gambling venue is in your pocket 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

One of the things that we hear a lot from young people is that they perceive that gambling has become normalised or part of the sporting experience. That this is something that you do if you're a fan of the game.

One of the classic ways in which we've seen the gambling industry advertise their products and services is online, through the internet, through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. But also things that kids are really attracted to, like Youtube.

When young people look at gambling advertising, they see sometimes quite a different thing from adults. They see it as easy, entertaining, fun. They also think that they have much more of a chance of winning.

Mum three: My youngest one is on the internet quite a bit.

Mum four: I'm their friend on Facebook, so I make sure I check up what they're doing.

Dad four: I don't get to see what my kids are looking at online.

Mum three: I should do more but sometimes it's easier not to cause World War Three.

Text: How do young people get into gambling

Tony Clarkson: Young people take risks. That's what they do. Partly because they don't really appreciate what might happen, what's the consequences of those risks. So that's kind of why gambling might be very attractive to a young person.

Text: Tony Clarkson, Gambler's Help Clinical Manager

Tony Clarkson: What we've started to see a lot more of recently is young people coming in, and usually been referred by their parents, with problems either gambling or gaming.

There are increasingly a lot of crossovers between gambling and gaming. Games are being developed by companies that have a vested interest in pokies software manufacture, for example.

If you spend some money you might get the thing that you need to get to the next level of a game. And essentially that's gambling. When they get to the point of 18, and they're legally allowed to gamble, it doesn't seem as much of a jump for them.

Young people are being groomed by gaming companies. Quite often what we do as clinicians is encourage parents to actually play games with their kids. Play games in a communal space. Maybe play together in the living area so the kids aren't going off into their room on their own

Dad five: Gambling ads do in fact end up on kids apps and kids games.

Dad three: He could download an app. He has a credit card and he could actually be betting on games.

Dad four: It certainly normalises the idea of playing an electronic game to win money.

Dad six: They must be making buckets of money off someone.

Text: Signs that a teenager might be having problems with gambling.

Tony Clarkson: One of them is missing school, that's one of the first things that tends to drop off.

Also kids can become increasingly obsessed with simulated gambling apps and games. They may no longer be interested in just going to watch a footy match or a soccer match. They're starting to talk about who's going to win, how much money you might make if that team wins, what kind of odds were on this team or that team.

Another thing is depression and the onset of sort of negative attitudes. You get a young person who's staying in their room all the time, who's not seeing their friends at all. Who's not really looking after themselves. They stop talking to you, they stop talking to their friends, and when you do question them, you'll get quite negative, sometimes quite angry, responses.

Text: What can parents do?

Tony Clarkson: I would really encourage parents to talk to their young people, their teenagers about gambling, even if they don't think there's a problem. Starting to have those conversations earlier on means that it's more easy to talk about them if and when they do become a problem.

Text: For tips on how to talk to your teenager about gambling see our conversation starters video.

Text: For more information: 

Logo: Gambler's Help 1800 858 858

Logo: Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation

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