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Information for parents – gambling and young people

Gambling advertising is everywhere and it's changing the way young people see sport. Excessive sports betting advertising can make it seem like gambling is normal, that sport is all about the odds, not the game.

When something feels normal, the risks are often not considered, and people can end up experiencing harm. Young people can be especially at risk of harm from gambling.

As parents, we know there are lots of 'talks' we need to have with our kids. But we might not have realised that gambling is one of them. 

This is why...

1. Teens think that betting and sport go together

Sports betting advertising can make it seem as though you need to bet on sport to make it interesting. Seventy-five per cent of teenagers think gambling is a normal part of sport.

2. Teens think everyone is doing it

Teens feel enormous pressure to fit in. Like drinking, smoking and sex, the normalisation of sports and gambling means teens might assume everyone is doing it more than is really the case.

3. Teens don’t appreciate the risks

The ads your teenager watches make it seem as though betting on sports carries no risk. Terms like ‘cash back’ and 'the fold' make it seem like they can’t lose. Gone are the days when you had to bet with cash at the TAB – phones make it easy for anyone to bet.

Talk with your kids

You can help the teenager in your life understand how gambling works without needing to be an expert. Kids are smart. Tell them the facts. Let them know that gambling and sports don’t have to go together.

Have a conversation about gambling

To open up a conversation about gambling with your teenager, you could ask whether they notice the betting ads on TV.

Some questions you might ask as part of your conversation:

  • Do the ads for sports betting make it seem fun and harmless or an easy way to win money?
  • Why do you think betting agencies sometimes offer to give money back if you don't win? Is it to encourage you to keep gambling?
  • What influence do you think sports betting advertising has had on how we see and talk about sports?
  • Do you think our love of the game is being lost to a culture of gambling in sports?
  • Do you think people feel they have to gamble to enjoy the footy or other sports?

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