Know the Issue

When gaming habits become gambling problems.

The earlier people are introduced to gambling, the more likely they are to become problem gamblers as adults – and too many young people are at risk. Exposure to gambling can happen innocently enough, from things like parents betting on sports or buying lottery tickets. Friendly bets and card games with peers at school can further introduce young people to gambling behaviors. And many of the video games and apps youth play simulate the same excitement experienced by gamblers. If problem gambling isn’t halted early, it can have lifelong consequences. The resources available through Change the Game are designed to educate and inform both youth and adults.

10%-14% of youth ages 12-17 are at risk.

Unlock the Numbers

Did you know?

6.5% of 14–21 year-olds are at risk for problem gambling.

Children introduced to gambling by age 12 are four times more likely to develop a gambling problem.

Many gaming apps are marketed to 2–17 year-olds.

The reality of youth gambling

The Warning Signs

Students miss classes or entire school days with no explanation.

Grades suddenly drop or assignments aren’t being completed.

Disinterest towards extracurricular activities.

Behavior becomes more secretive, defensive or aggressive.

There’s an increased interest in money and value of possessions.

They speak openly about an interest in gambling or borrowing money.

Hiding in plain sight

Identifying Gambling Activity

Friendly card games with peers can further introduce young people to gambling behaviors. Some kids wager money, valuable items, and food.

Exposure to gambling can happen innocently enough, from things like parents buying lottery tickets as gifts.

Ohio’s youth are taking on Dares and Viral Challenges. They are more willing to take on challenges for the thrill, credibility, social status, or to feel like they belong.

Some kids feel it's easier to fit in when they make bets on school sports and events.

When buying trading card decks for kids, there is a chance of getting rarer cards. These valuable cards are sometimes used as a wager in strategy card games.

Role playing strategy games and card games resemble gambling - betting against odds using cards and dice.

Arcades and family fun centers look and function a lot like casinos and encourage gambling behavior. Kids will spend money on games to trade their wins for stuffed animals and other prizes.

Some kids start to participate in Fantasy Sports betting after seeing their parents or elders participate in work or neighborhood leagues.

Video games and apps replicate real-life gambling opportunities that could lead to lifelong issues for the young people exposed to them.

Today's Gaming in Ohio

Who is at risk in Ohio?

Gambling-inspired gaming apps are marketed toward children as young as 2.

High school students find the lure of “big wins” hard to resist.

College students away from home for the first time have money to game with and no oversight.

It's time for a reality check

What are the consequences?

Students may lose money they need for school materials or meals.

Students may neglect their studies or part-time jobs.

Increased risk for substance use and abuse.

Increased risk for delinquency and crime.

Students may end up with damaged relationships.

Emotional stress and depression can build in children and teens.

The Solution

We all have a role in prevention.

Establish limits and set controls on devices that regulate game time.

Support school policies that prohibit gambling.

Talk to your kids about gambling and set controls on devices to prohibit micro-transactions.

Test Your Knowledge

Do you know the facts?

We all have a role to play in preventing problem gambling among young people. It starts with knowing the facts. Test your knowledge with the Change The Game Quiz.

Take the Quiz
15% of youth ages 12-17 have reported lying about or hiding how much they gamble.

Get educated

The warning signs are right in front of you.

Talk about the risks.

Learn how to start the conversation with your kids.

Missed classes? Dropping grades?

Know the signs of problem gambling in students.

Loot boxes. Instant upgrades.

Do the games you play put you at risk?