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Families Preventing Youth Gambling

Families stand as the foundation of prevention when it comes to protecting youth from the pitfalls of gambling. In their developing years from childhood to young adulthood, family bonds serve as the first line of defense against the allure of gambling. 

Through nurturing relationships, active involvement, and fostering a supportive environment, families instill values and behaviors that fortify youth against the dangers of gambling addiction. Understanding that family influence extends beyond the household, communities benefit from healthy families that collectively support youth gambling prevention. 


If your peers are gambling, talk to your parents. Let them know what’s going on and discuss new exciting activities to do with your friends. There are so many exciting things to do, sports to try, and other games to conquer.

Additionally, learn how you can be a leader among your peers. Be the role model of healthy and harmless activities. And be the one to connect your peers to the help they may need. 


Gambling is a risky behavior right up until your mid-twenties. This is because your brain is still developing. You’re still making your way through the excitement of maturity, and there are so many different things you can do with your time that do not include gambling. 

Just as important, you are the first line of defense for your peers. Young adults tend to spend much more time with their peers than they do each preceding year. That said, peers are extremely important to support one another. If you believe a friend is struggling with a gambling problem, reach out to a trusted adult. 


You are the shining light in your youths’ eyes. Research shows that parents’ choices can make a huge difference in youths’ choices. Things that parents can do, or continue to do, include active involvement in their lives and praising their accomplishments. Spending time listening is the number one activity you can do. Listen to their stories, thoughts and concerns. Listen without judgement and help them solve their challenges and praise their success. Every challenge marks an opportunity for their development, and another opportunity to continue nurturing their trust. 

Also, parents who include youth in family decisions encourage family cohesion. This can include important family support, such as screen time limits and when to do homework. It can also include simpler decisions, such as new room paint colors and dinner planning for the week. Youth involvement helps youth avoid unhealthy choices like youth gambling. 


Help support parents in your community. We know that youths’ biggest influence well into their early twenties is their parents. This helps to guide preventative resources and activities. Other than empowering youth, helping to strengthen family relationships should be a top priority. 


If you find yourself struggling with gambling harm, or if you suspect someone you know is facing such challenges, don’t hesitate to seek help. For 24/7 support, call the NYS OASAS HOPEline at 1-877-846-7369 or text 467369. Or choose your county using our interactive map on our NYProblemGamblingHELP.org HOME PAGE to see the contact information for the Problem Gambling Resource Center (PGRC) in your region.

For Community Influencers
For Parents
For Youth