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The Big Game and Youth Gambling.

As the football season comes to an end, we might be gathering with friends to watch the big game. Placing a bet on a football board or making a friendly wager may seem harmless. We’re here to take a deeper look at what we can do to minizine risks.


We are learning to make our own decisions, and those new choices can sometimes be confusing. Messages related to youth gambling appear constantly on our phones, social media, tv, and through the people we interact with. For example, an add pop up for a game says it’s free, but is it really? Often, we can see adults we know purchase things like lotto tickets or place a wager on a sports game. This can make gambling seem normal, but not everyone is doing it. The parts of our brains that are responsible for decision making and looking at long term consequences are still developing.  It’s important think about messages we’re receiving and is our actions are a healthy choice. Bet on yourself, your judgement, and your ability to make good decisions. Learn more about the risks related to youth gambling at YOUDecideNY.org.

Young Adults:  

With the legalization of mobile sports betting, and big events like the Superbowl wagering can feel like no big deal. In reality, the act of gambling can cause the brain to fire off our reward system and produce a rewarding feeling after a “win”. That feeling can increase the need to gamble, and cause harm. With constant access to gambling, we are seeing a quicker onset for gambling addiction. Knowing some of the warning signs related to problem gambling can alert us that we may need to take a deeper look at gambling behaviors. Be willing to start the conversation with those who could benefit from learning more, and know help is available.


Often, things like Superbowl boards, friendly wagers, mobile sports betting, lotto purchases, and more can seem normal when they are done without causing harm. Explaining to youth that adult brains are fully developed and that we can comprehend the long-term consequences and risks of our gambling actions, can help them understand risks. Discussing things like the odds of winning, how you set your limits, and the risks associated with gambling can help youth make healthier decisions. Learn more about how to start the conversation about youth gambling and find many other resources by visiting Resources – You Decide NY.

Community Influencers:  

Recently, our communities have taken part in activities like fantasy
leagues, game watch parties, and even restaurant specials if you download a
mobile sports betting app. As community influencers, it is important that we
understand gambling is not a risk-free activity. While some adults and sports
fans can wager responsibly, some develop a need for increasingly larger bets
more often, and other risky issues. Often, our youth view these activities and
they become normalized, blurring the lines between gaming and gambling. As
community leaders, understanding problem gambling, knowing where to go for help
or holding a gambling free event can be important tools to protect our
youth and our communities.  

For additional educational resources, data, and more, please visit Home – You Decide NY . If you need additional support, please reach out to your local Problem Gambling Resource Center at NYProblemGamblingHELP.org. For 24/7 support, call the NYS OASAS HOPEline at 1-877-846-7369 or text 467369.   

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