Teenage gambling


It has been reported that more and more teenagers are involved in gambling in our city.  What will be the negative impact if the trend prevails and what should be done to turn the situation around? Write an article to voice your views.



Don’t Gamble Your Future Away


There is an old Chinese saying Small bet is joyful, but excessive gambling is harmful. Actually, even little gambling can lead to devastating results. From a research conducted by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, half of the respondents under 18 had gambled in the year the research was conducted. It is a worrying situation that more and more teenagers are involved in gambling. Obviously, gambling generates numerous negative impacts, especially for teenagers who still have a long way to go in their future.


What do you need for gambling? Of course money. When teenagers get more indulged in gambling, they cannot help spending a considerable amount of fortune on it. Most of them are just students who do not have a job. They would turn to their friends and families to borrow more and conflicts would easily arise. This would increase their families’ financial burden and their friends would leave them. One does not only lose money in gambling, but also relationships.


What else? It can also have a long-term impact on teenagers’ development. They will have an unhealthy concept of money and cannot have a stable saving in the future. They learn to earn quick money but not by hard work and efforts. Besides money, they also spend too much time on gambling to do other things like study or work. Back to the basics, gambling is illegal for the underage. From just social mahjong to illegal bookmaking, teenagers break the law without considering the consequences. There is a research also showing that teenagers who get addicted to gambling are more likely to cheat and have other illegal acts. Gambling is definitely an accomplice to such undesirable characters.


It is not uncommon to see TV advertisements about stopping gambling. However, that is not enough to change the situation around. To cope with this problem, different sectors in society need to join hands together.


For teenagers, their families could be the most crucial element to affect their gambling behaviours. Parents should set up a good example and teach their children. Whenever their children want to play mahjong or ask them to buy Mark Six, parents should refuse and clearly tell them that they are not allowed to do so. They should never lend money to their children for gamble either as it encourages the habit.

Schools and NGOs could provide more education on gambling. Lots of teenagers just overlook the power of gambling, thinking they will not be addicted just by playing a little. Education on how easy it is to be addicted to gambling and its devastating consequences should be provided. What is more, schools and NGOs could provide consulting services for teenage gamblers. Having an open attitude towards teen gamblers is important to encourage them to make the first step to quit.


Last but not least, the government should have stricter laws on teenage gambling. Through heavier punishment, a deterrent effect on gambling will be in sight. On the other hand, the police should make more efforts on smashing illegal bookmaking. Some teenagers gamble through such convenient services. The crackdown can reduce the medium for teenagers to gamble.


There are a number of teen issues like drug abuse or underage drinking, but gambling is not the one to be ignored. Don’t gamble your money, your friends and family, and even your life away. Stay wise!


Christie Yuen Yin Kiu

6E 2015-16