Gambling problems among children and young adolescents

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Kushtrim Islami
Kushtrim Islami's picture
Gambling problems among children and young adolescents

Dear all,

I would like to share with you an interesting analysis, about often overlooked problem afecting young adolescents and children, submitted by RP from Kosovo Petrit Sopjani. Please feel free to share your opinions about this phenomenon.

Gambling is often considered as a social and behavioral problem among many people that causes social, economic and psychological depressive problems to individuals, their family and the community. There is a need for more in depth and specific researches to be conducted, tackling among other, on consequences in children involved in gambling activities. Multi-sectorial comprehensive analysis on the issue is required due to the following facts encountered so far:

Review of recent studies conducted in the last decade indicates that in UK and North America up to 91 percent of young people have gambled at least once in their lifetime. Ranging from 65-75 percent of those reporting gambling has gabled within the last year.

Gambling is not considered as a problem only on the northern hemisphere. Comparing different findings from different continents is estimated that approximately 10-14 percent of young people are at risk developing serious gambling problems and that between approximately 5-7 percent of young people are problem gamblers.

The above figures compared with other studies involving adult gabling problems conclude clearly that pathological gambling prevalence is much higher among youth rather than adults and constitute a serious social, health and economic problem for all societies. Is not clearly of the most at risk age for being exposed and develop serious gambling problem for a child. But is evident that as early the exposure in gambling, it will contribute to creating gambling problems and create other and or similar consequences also later at life.

Children and young adolescents have difficulty to clearly conceptualize gambling and its consequences. As a push factor is often considered lack of organized space and well-structured extra-curricular activities that often attract for exploring other forms of ‘entertainment’. Often gambling activities are introduced (sometimes unintentionally) by parents and or older siblings and or friends. Usually, yong adolescents are motivated to gamble as possibility for entertainment, sensation of wining, idea of having their own money, simply playing games and or for other escape from stress/problems.

Depending on the social context, it is considered that boys/men are more likely to be involved in in gambling and developing gambling problems.

Regardless of above, in any situation encountered, gambling problems are known to induce serious problems including of a psychological nature such as depression and anxiety disorders, suicidal thoughts/attempts, alcohol and narcotic addiction, involvement in criminal activities of robbery and other forms of steeling including valuable household items, asocial behavior within family and surrounding. At a later stage even divorce and family violence episodes.  Gambling problems sometimes take in to the vicious circle other family members, rarely due to the extensive winning but in most cases the opposite, due to losses and debts created over time.

Today gambling industry is much more developed and sophisticated and much more easily accessible to people in general as well to young adults and adolescents. Lack of strict legislation and poor control in implementing legislative restrictions, in some countries makes more easily for a child to enter in gambling world and consequently gambling problems. Sport bets and or gambling machines are often organized informally and with little control in some underdeveloped countries. Internet games cannot impose age restrictions and can be easily accessed by children using online gambling games and forums. Internet gambling is much more attractive lately as it provides privacy, anonymity and protect from stigmatization.

As indicated at the beginning of this text, there is an urgent need to further analyze gambling consequences and in particular consequences for children and their development.

Particular intervention should focus on alerting of child professionals as well as parents on the risk of gambling problems that can be developed among children and youth. Gambling can have long term impact and consequence; it can be ‘quiet social problem’ that can develop in the life even at a later stage. Gambling is more difficult social and health problem than any other addiction since it is often hidden, difficult to detect and young people usually do not seek help.

Other steps should consist on general awareness rising campaigns targeting parents, child professionals and in particular children themselves; ensuring support to recognize risk factors of gambling and introducing preventive measures at all levels.

Most important is to build and implement comprehensive policies that will strengthen surveillance and control of gambling space, limiting at the maximum possible access for children.

Series this is part of:  Contemporary issues in child protection
Natyra Agani
Natyra Agani's picture
Some thoguths.

Very interesting topic and well elaborated and presented. I was intrigued by numbers nd situation presented in different parts of the world. I was particularly interested in the psychlogical effects of gambling among school age group students. For example American Psychological Asociation (APA, 2016 has listed a number of articles and research papers that shed light on this issue on a global perspective. Nevetheless, finding information regarding this topic for Kosovo was not this easy, primarily due to the laxk of research in this field. Having in mind the demographic composition of Kosovo where more than half of population is under 20 this should be a very concerning issue for Kosovar society.

I conducted a brief research view regarding this topic and what I noticed that 1) Kosovo has good legal framework that regulates this issue, however 2) the media reports says that children and young adults are frequent users of gambling. Another, relevant topic is the impat of parents who gamble on overall development of their children as well as the impact on family dynamics.

Merita Jonuzi
Merita Jonuzi's picture
Firstlly, I share with you

Firstlly, I share with you article 45  of the   Law No. 04/L-080  ON GAMES OF CHANCE  

 The age of the participants in the Games of Chance

1. It is prohibited that a person under the age of eighteen (18) to get involved in Games of

Chance, to play either in person or through an agent.

2. It is prohibited that people dealing with Games of Chance activities share winnings with a

person under the age of eighteen (18).

3. The organizers are prohibited to employ persons under the age of eighteen (18).

4. It is prohibited that the organizer of Games of Chance to allow a person under the age of

eighteen (18) to be involved in Games of Chance.


Further i would like to say that we need to do anymore about children rights

Children rights is a component of all objectives in all strategies drafted by MEST.  CR  have been included in the curricula and textbooks for all levels as a concept so that the curricula and textbooks are not discriminatory but be balanced in the gender aspect.  We have also have activities’ in extracurricular level, and other activities in collaboration with NGO.

The increasing of self-awareness of the citizens for respecting children’s rights, through joined work of the Kosovo institutions and civic society, is very very important.  By knowing their rights, they will know how to protect them and will be ready to live in a democratic society and also digest the main values of democracy that are based on the respect for human rights, tolerance and human solidarity.

We have many projects about prevention of violence, trafficking, discrimination, safety, dropout, etc., but we have not any awareness activities about the dangers from Games of Chance. So,  specifically to prevent the involvement of children and adolescents in gambling, we must cooperate for the implementation of awareness activities in schools, with the community of parents, and so on.

Shqipe Bruqi
Shqipe Bruqi's picture
Rreziku nga lojërat  e fatit

Rreziku nga lojërat  e fatit


 E nxitur nga  debati ne lidhje me temen për lojrat e fatit edhe une po e jap një mendim. Meqë Kosova është një vend në tranzicion  që vonë ka dal nga lufta  dhe varfëria është më evidente, atëherë edhe mundësia që rinia t`i ekspozohet dukurive negative (edhe lorëjave të fatit/ bastoreve sportive) janë të shumta. Që kjo dukuri ndikon negativisht si në aspektin financiar ashtu edhe atë psikologjik të të rinjëve  jemi të vetdijshëm të gjithë, mirëpo cilat janë masat që duhet të ndermirrën për parandalim apo zvoglim të pjesëmarrjës së të rinjëve gjegjësisht moshës shkollore në to?

Mendoj se duhet të zhvillohen kampanja të ndryshme vetëdijësuese me nxënësit e shkollave për rreziqet që mund t`i bart vartësia nga lojërat e fatit. Duhet të zhvillohet  një bashkëpunim më i ngushtë në mes të udhëheqsve  të shkollave, mësuesve  dhe komunitetit të prindërve sepse shpesh fëmijët bien pre edhe e baballarve  duke i parë ata me  tiketa në duar me orë të tëra para televizorit kur luhen lojrat e futbollit apo edhe duke qendruar natën në lokale me qëllim të njejtë. Aktivitete të tilla vetëdijësuese duhet të mbahen edhe në mes të udhëheqësve të shkollave  dhe pronarëve  të këtyre lojërave në menyrë që pjesëmarrja e fëmijëve nën moshën 18 vjeçare  të jetë sa më e vogël, kur dihet se edhe ligji e sanksionon këtë moshë dhe hapjen e këtyre  lokaleve afër shkollave.  Shoqëria duhet të mirret seriozisht me këtë fenomen  dhe me dukuritë tjera të përmasave globale, të cilat  cënojnë mirëqenien dhe zhvillimin e fëmijëve/të rinjve.


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