I came across a disturbing story in the news recently about a pair of popular YouTube stars whose subscribers are mostly children. These YouTubers have been endorsing a dangerous online gambling site that entices users to spend money for the chance to open a so-called digital “mystery box.”

Social media influencers have an impactful voice in today’s culture, especially among the young, and kids are by no means immune to the dangers of online gambling. As a parent, I feel it’s more vital than ever for us to have meaningful conversations about this topic with our children. Here are a few informative resources to help you do just that:

What to watch for to combat gambling addiction in children and teens
Kids are becoming hooked on gambling while still in grade school. They often begin gambling between the ages of 10 and 13. A recent survey out of the United States revealed that four out of five adolescents have gambled in the past year. (Annenberg Risk Survey of Youth)
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How to protect your teen from online gambling
Sometimes teens define the word gambler in extreme terms: the person who hits the slot machines at a casino and doesn’t come home until dawn or loses a paycheque at the racetrack. But the National Research Council reports that as high as 89 per cent of teens have gambled or are currently gambling.
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His ticket home: A gambler’s story
In some ways, the transition between youth and young adulthood can be as challenging for parents as it is for their child. Find out where and how “supervision and influence” need to give way to “invitation and negotiation” in this parenting season.
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Perhaps you know someone who’s struggling with online gambling, or perhaps the issue has affected your own family. If you would like to speak with a member of our team and receive prayer support – or even get in touch with our counselling team for a free, one-time phone consultation – please call us at 1.800.661.9800, email [email protected] or visit Focusonthefamily.ca/help today.

Whatever you and your family are dealing with, we want you to know you don’t have to face it alone. We’re here to help!