Problem Gambling Prevention

According to the New York Council on Problem Gambling (NYCPG), gambling is any activity where an item of value is placed at risk in an attempt to gain something of greater value. The NYCPG classifies gambling behavior into four categories; non-problem, low-risk, moderate risk, and problem gamblers. 

Gambling is connected to mental health for many reasons. Gambling can become an addiction. In addition, gambling is both a risk factor for other mental health problems, and stress, traumatic events, other addictions can be a risk factor for problem gambling. For youth in particular, gambling and gaming can have serious consequences. Mental health education should include problem gambling awareness and prevention.

A youth development survey was conducted in 12 counties to over 74,000 students in grades 7 through 12 by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) in 2014 and 2015.  Approximately 49% of respondents gambled in the past year, with the most common form of gambling being lottery, lotto or scratch offs at 26 percent. The next most common forms of gambling included raffles or charity games, and betting money on sports for all grades, with 16 to 20% of students reporting use in the past year. In addition, when students were asked the first age at which they gambled, 22% reported ages ranging between 10 and 16.  In New York, 18 years old is the legal age for all gaming activities.


Featuring Amy Molloy, Director of MHANYS School Mental Health Resource and Training Center, and Jaime Costello, Director of Bureau of Prevention and Training at NY Council on Problem Gambling, the following webinars will help you understand problem gambling and how to help prevent it. 

Mental Health Education and Underage Gambling: Understanding the Problem

Learn facts about underage gambling/gaming participation, why youth gamble/game, and why we need to be concerned. FIND HERE

Mental Health Education and Underage Gambling: Addressing the Problem

Learn what parents, schools, and communities can do to prevent underage problem gambling/gaming. Key discussion points are on starting the conversation on gambling/gaming as a risky behavior, healthier options for entertainment, media literacy, and more. FIND HERE

Additional Resources:

You(th) Decide

Brought to you by the NY Council on Problem Gambling, Inc., You(th) Decide NY is a resource for youth, parents and communities, interested in giving YOU(th) the power to DECIDE. View the website here. 

Youth Fact Sheet

With problem gambling behavior, data has shown there is an increased risk for depression/anxiety, substance misuse, damaged relationships, and poor academic performance. Find Youth Fact Sheet here.

Know the Odds

If someone is suffering from problem gambling, they are not alone. With two million adults meeting the diagnostic criteria for gambling disorder, schools can help to create preventative factors and strategies to combat this issue. Find ebooks, infographics, and videos to help you better understand and prevent problem gambling at the Know the Odds website.

For Education Professionals

Underage & Problem Gambling Awareness in Education Settings Toolkit

Need help bringing awareness of problem gambling to your school community? Find action sheets for youth, parents, school personnel, and administrators in this toolkit to help you. On each sheet, there are additional resources that will assist you in bringing awareness to each population. Find toolkit here.

Gambling-Free Event Policy

Does your school still have an event that includes some form of gambling? With knowledge associated with the risk of gambling, there is growing interest in gambling-free events. Check out this template to get you started on implementing a gambling-free event policy.

For Families & Caregivers

Talk 2 Kids Website

One simple, effective way is just to talk with your kids about gaming and gambling, even if they’re as young as six years old. View the website here. 

Don’t Bet Yet Website

Keep your kids gambling-free with this educational resource. With your help, we can make sure they Don’t Bet Yet. View the website here. 

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