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 a letter to the editor to voice your views.
I am writing to express my grave concern about the worsening problem of teen gambling. It is saddening to hear that more and more adolescents are now getting involved in gambling, despite the truth that teen gambling is illegal in the city. With the popularity of smartphone apps, the Internet and poker cards, gambling could never be easier than ever for teenagers. The trend will lead to a series of negative impacts and there is indeed a great urge to bring the worrying trend to a halt.
Undeniably, the gambling trend may warp teenagers’ minds. What gambling attracts money lovers is the “little effort but huge profit” nature of winning a bet. Having tremendous desire for materialistic enjoyment, many of the younger ones are tempted to gamble for more money. This trend will spread the opportunist ideas among the youths, encouraging them not to use a pragmatic approach to make a living but to wish for luckiness. If so, teenagers will lose a proper mindset on everything crucial to their lives. For example, they would rather give up more easily when facing obstacles which are difficult to overcome. Studies also show that gambling obsession may lead to declining grades of students, embracing opportunism learnt from gambling as one of the major reasons. Therefore, it is reasonable to say gambling trends lead teenagers astray.
Apart from giving wrong messages to teenagers, the adolescent gambling trend may also lead to serious social problems. Reports show that gambling is one of the main culprits that deteriorates family relationships, giving rise to mounting numbers of family abuse and teenage suicide. Plus, gambling youths may also have a higher chance of anxiety and depression. This creates a greater demand for a larger extent of government interference in the social welfare system in order to solve these social problems. More taxpayers’ resources are used to deal with the problem. It is such a great harm to society.
Yet, there are still possible ways to turn the situation around. Education is one of the most significant ones. The government, schools and NGOs could join hands to combat the atmosphere of gambling. By using innovative ways which teens love most, such as producing educational short movies and holding interactive workshops, the parties can inculcate correct messages to the adolescents. If teens are alerted to the adverse impacts of gambling, they will stay away from these harmful activities.
Besides education, different activities could be introduced for the teens’ entertainment, for example, sports and outdoor games, dramas, etc. As teenagers could get the stimulation which could be as high as they can get from gambling, they will turn to gambling less as pastimes by having more meaningful ones.
Gambling is never beneficial to anybody. Prevention is always better than cure. The trend should never be taken lightly and swift decisions should be made to stop this problem from growing.
Tommy Luk Hei Long