Canadian Youth Learn the Risks of Gambling

Published Saturday, August 28, 2010 -

A YMCA youth gambling awareness program in Ontario Canada is making a few people in the province nervous about the coming of online gambling there.
Ontario is one of the most populated areas of the vast country and is going through the process of assessing the pros and cons of introducing internet wagering to it's citizens.
Renee Grenier a youth outreach worker the St. Catherines YMCA is not putting any value judgements on gambling when he tells his group of young people "I'm not going to say it's bad and I'm not going to say it's really good, but I am going to teach you to gamble safely,"
Grenier, starts by asking the kids to write down on a piece of paper, the name of a "thing" important to them, a thing that belongs to them alone.
They're going to bet it, and winner takes all, as a lesson in understanding value and odds.
The Healthy Kids Centre has been giving kids helpful advice in order for them to make informed and good choices regarding gambling and other lifestyle habits.
The hour long session puts young people to work choosing what are responsible things to play at. Gaming and gambling are two interchangeable labels that go with online activities, and it can be confusing to the uninitiated.
Kim Charteris, general manager of the program in Toronto, said, youth are at more risk now than when the program began in the schools 10 years ago. It's important for kids to know the difference, she said, and, if they choose to gamble, to understand the choices and risks. During the session the kids discussed the difference between games of chance and skill and identified low-to high-risk behaviours.
Kids playing video games on the net learn that the more you play the more skill you obtain and the more you win. With gambling, especially on slots and other casino games youthful players fall into the false notion that if they play more they will win more.
When kids are exposed to the real time situation where they are going to gamble their favourite thing like an i pod or phone and just may loose that item they think twice about giving up something they value.



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