Televised Poker and Gambling Adolescents

Adolescent gambling incidences are believed spurred on by televised gambling and also how it is portrayed on films. Many believe these factors are more relevant to below legal age gambling than the amount of winnings is.

Online gambling may be a culprit in underage gambling but televised gambling has more far reaching effects. TV is still considered to be the major past time among families in the US and in Europe. Online gambling may be kept from our kids' eyes but TV viewing is much lesser restricted to the young. It's deemed a harmless family entertainment medium.

We think that viewing something on TV is safe for kids as long as adults or parents are with them viewing it—even gambling games. But what we don't know is that this is a major channel whereby kids get exposed to gambling at an early age. Gambling games on TV like "Celebrity Poker Showdown" not only feature gambling games but also gambling celebrities. They get so much good exposure there that the possibility of both adults and kids idolizing them is likely.

Then there's "The World Series of Poker" available on ESPN. This is very popular worldwide and just imagine the kids and teenagers exposed to this. There's also "The World Poker Tour" available on the travel channel. These world championships evoke emotions among the participants and the adult viewers at home, and it's impossible for kids not to get the spirit.

The early exposure can trigger the rise of adolescent gambling incidence not just across the country but also the globe. Having these gambling games and championships available on TV glamorizes and plays down the whole thing in the eyes of children, especially when they see the adults nod their approval. And childhood and adolescence are periods when these young people are often more vulnerable and receptive.

This is not to mention the growing popularity of more and more and teen and pre-teen poker get-togethers and parties that look harmless because, anyway, they are done in homes and in the presence of adult guardians. Then add to this sports betting which is actually apart from traditional gambling games. And worse, with early exposure to gambling which often leads to early practice come the alarmingly growing statistics of teenage suicides related to gambling frustration. Expert estimates put compulsive gamblers trying the act to 20 percent.

TV exposure has a lot to do with adolescent gambling, says some psychiatrists. Merely establishing a legal age for gambling may not be enough to check the malady.

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