Results of Allowing Minors to Gamble

The age limit for gambling is not only to limit children's exposure to early gambling and gambling addiction per se. More so, it is to prevent the spread of the dire consequences of gambling addiction among them.

With regular exposure to gambling, kids may turn to it. When they do, they might be addicted to it. The vicious result doesn't stop there, however. Here are some possible scenarios when a child is hooked to gambling addiction.

First, gambling paraphernalia like dice and game cards would become regular features of our kids. They never feel comfortable without them. They would have them in their hands, pockets, or even school bags. With this, they'd grab the chance to play them with a peer when the opportunity presents itself.

Next, they'd gamble with their allowances, or even any amount of money they see around and which is within their reach. Then, they'd cut classes or void school totally. They'd also neglect doing their homework. The result is a constantly poor class performance and poor grade marks.

The regression continues as long as gambling remains accessible due to the absence of an age limit for gambing. Soon, our kids take samplings of drinks allowed in casinos. Not long after we have two vice problems with our kids—gambling and drinking. And because kids are susceptible to habits while their sources are available alcoholism may later turn to drug addiction.

These are not mere ideas or paranoia. In Washington, reliable sources say one out of 12 teens is already an addicted gambler. Research by the Problem Gambling Treatment and Research Center at the University of Denver says if the situation is not checked we may be in for a teenage gambling addiction epidemic. Kids are 3 times more likely to get addicted than adults do—hence the possibility of 12 percent of kids gambling today would become hopeless addicts soon.

Kids and teens are so gullible to the excitement and easy money-making image of gambling than adults are. They think it's more fun and easier than getting a nice decent job. But soon they get into big debts. They're susceptible to pursuing opponent's bets so that they lose big and lose control of their bet moods. Soon, they become regular borrowers of money from family and friends. Soon they steal.

An age limit for gambling is not a sure solution to underage gambling. But such measure can at least make kids and parents aware of their accountability and the dire results of addiction.