Advice to Parents: Identifying potential signs of gambling related harms

As we remain stuck indoors day after day many are turning to gadgets to explore the multitude of games accessible online. There are over 1500 different gambling and gambling style apps available. With an abundance of bright colours and sounds, young people may be enticed to download them as they look for new things to do during the lockdown. It is more important than ever to build digital resilience amongst young and vulnerable people to help them to make informed decisions and understand the consequences around gambling and gaming. Excluding the National Lottery and scratchcards, gambling is an activity for over 18s consequently operators must verify the age of a player before allowing them to access their site.

Lockdown may be proving especially difficult for young people living away from home for the first time and gambling is often a popular social activity at University. Gambling can provide illustrations of success, so if they are failing in their studies, work or relationships this can provide a sense of triumph.

Gambling harm can be hard to identify and as a result can be easily hidden. Looking out for changes in a young person’s behaviour, ensuring they have a strong support network and monitoring their actions can help identify issues sooner. It is important to explain to young people how gambling can be enjoyed safely but also make them aware of the potential risks and consequences.

Here are some signs which could help identify possible gambling related harms. As with gaming, this does not necessarily mean someone has a gambling addiction, but it is imperative to continue monitoring and speaking with them.

If you have questions or concerns about your own gambling or about that of a friend or family member, the best place to start is the National Gambling Helpline on Freephone 0808 8020 133.

For more information on our advice please contact Amanda Atkinson – Head of Parental Engagement.

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