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Problem Gambling is the continuation of gambling activities despite negative personal, social or financial consequences. In Oregon, it is estimated 2.2 percent of adolescents 12-17 (5,929) are at risk of developing a problem or have already developed a problem with gambling. 

Warning Signs of Youth Problem Gambling

  • Asking for or borrowing money or unexplained debt – not having money for lunch consistently.

  • Unexplained absence from school or sudden drop in grades.

  • Carries or possesses gambling materials, such as dice, playing cards, or other gambling materials.

  • Says gambling is one of the best ways to make easy money.

  • Neglects family/friends.

  • Frequent mood swings - usually high when winning and lower when losing.

  • Lies to parents or friends about how they lost money gambling

  • Displays large amounts of cash and other material possessions.

  • Intense interest in gambling conversations.

  • Using gambling “lingo” in his/her conversation (e.g., bookie, loan shark, point spread, exaggerated use of the word “bet”).

  • Uses desperate measures to get gambling money, such as stealing from parents or friends, or selling personal belongings.

Click Here to Learn More about Problem Gambling and Oregon Youth, provided by OPGR.

Fortunately, the same community-based prevention efforts that protect our youth from substance abuse can also protect them from problem gambling.


Parents are the first line of defense against problem gambling among youth. Here are some general steps to follow:


  • Understand gambling risks.

  • Be aware of your own gambling behavior and beliefs.

  • Set limits on time, money and frequency of gambling if problems are not severe. 


We know that perception of parental disapproval strongly influences youth behavior and beliefs.


  • Encourage discussion about gambling.

  • Talk to youth about gambling risks to help them make informed choices.

  • Listen to understand what youth have to say.

  • Point out that gambling is a form of entertainment and not a way to make money. This can help them understand that in addition to being fun, there are risks to gambling.

  • Limit or eliminate gambling activities in the home and replace them with non-gambling family activities which can help create a fun family environment.

  • If you're wondering if you have a gambling problem, it's okay to reach out for help:





BestCare Treatment Services

Prevention Services

850 SW 4th Street, Suite 104

Madras, Oregon 97441

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