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Talking to Kids About Gambling

The good news is that statistics indicate kids look first to their parents for advice and guidance. So knowing the facts about gambling and starting the conversation earlier means kids will be better prepared to make responsible choices.

How to Start the Conversation

It’s never too early to start the conversation with kids about gambling. Below are some easy ways to prepare.

  • Use your GameSense by arming yourself with good information — how gambling works and the common myths.
  • Bring the conversation up naturally, like when watching poker on TV or during the announcement about the latest lottery winner.
  • Pose hypothetical questions to get the conversation started. Maybe ask how they’d feel about betting, and losing, one of their prized processions.
  • Let kids know your expectations about gambling, and your reasons for them.
  • Ask lots of questions and listen carefully. It’s a great way to discover what they know and dispel any misconceptions.
  • Talk to them about the difference between skill-based games (like video games and sports) where practice can pay off, versus gambling where the outcome is random and chance-based.
  • Remember, actions speak louder than words. The best thing you can do is demonstrate responsible gambling habits.

If you have specific concerns, you can call the Problem Gambling Help Line at
1-888-795-6111. There you’ll find someone to talk to 24 hours a day.

One More Thing

Adults sometimes purchase lottery tickets as gifts for kids. Just remember, it can send the wrong message about gambling and promote it at a younger age. BCLC encourages people to refrain from giving lottery tickets to anyone under 19.

GameSense Tips

Play for fun, not to make money.

Know how the game works and what the odds are before playing.

Set a budget and stick to it.

Don't chase losses. Accept them as the cost of entertainment.

Balance gambling with other types of leisure activities.

Take frequent breaks.

Set a time limit before you play.

View All Tips

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