Is Teenage Gambling A Problem In Canada?

1354 words - 6 pages

Gambling has become one of the major components in Canada’s entertainment industry. Not only has gambling become popular among adults, but it has also gained
popularity among teenagers. The various types of gambling include lottery or scratch
cards, card games such as blackjack, bingo and gambling machines. Gambling can affect
an individual both mentally and physically. Some of the harmful effects of gambling
include experiencing depression, isolation, loss of sleep, stress related problems, loss of
control and many more. Even though, the minimum age for gambling is 19 ("Ontario Canada", n.d), teenagers who play card games or dice games for money with their friends and families is defined to be as “gambling.” The proof that supports this statement is by Dr. Jorge Pinson, the chair of the CPS Adolescent Health Committee states, “If children are playing cards or dice games for money—even if it’s with their family members—then they are gambling…It seems harmless, but as kids get older, these behaviors can develop into more serious gambling activities. And far too many youth develop problems with gambling.” (Dr. Jorge Pinson, n.d).

There are various signs and symptoms that are observed in individuals that have
problems with gambling. Some of the signs of gambling include struggling with
emotions, doing poorly in school, issues with substance abuse, money problems, and
many more. Gamblers who are addicted to gambling can have conflict with their
emotions as they are likely to develop depression, anxiety and frustration. Teenagers who
gamble would also be likely to do poorly in school because if they are too busy gambling,
they are prone to not attending school on a regular basis. Substance abuse is also a key
factor in individuals who have gambling addictions because it may be a way to deal with
monetary loss.

In addition, gambling addictions, also known as compulsive gambling is a progressive illness and may be a category of impulsive-control disorder. There are a variety of pathological symptoms of gambling, which include tolerance, withdrawal, loss of control, illegal activity, and lying. The tolerance in gambling is similar to drug addictions. Even though, gambling does not involve the use of any mind-altering drugs, the effects one experiences is an arousing euphoric state, which is similar to the “high” a normal drug user experiences. The more a person gambles, the more likely he or she has the craving for excitement. As the person increases their tolerance to gambling, they tend to spend more time gambling and less time spending time with their friends and family.

Furthermore, withdrawal is also a symptom of compulsive gambling, whereby the individual becomes restless and quick-tempered when he or she strives to cut down gambling. A research was done to examine how tolerance influences increase of bet size in gambling (Blaszczynski, A., Walker, M., Sharpe, L., & Nower, L, 2008). In the experiment, a total of 65...

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