Arizona Council on Compulsive Gambling, Inc.

ARIZONA HELPLINE 1-800-777-7207


Teen Gambling


Problem gambling creates serious issues for the young gambler and his/her family. It may interfere with relationships, school or work, and include diversion of funds intended for other uses. The adolescent may incur debts of substantial amounts to continue the activity.

Behaviors that may indicate
the existence of a gambling addiction may include:

Sudden, unexplained or exaggerated need for money

Borrowing money from family members and friends

Unexplained appearance of extravagant goods or possessions

Increased interest in sporting event outcomes,

fantasy leagues, online gaming

Increased interest or participation in card games like Texas Hold'Em

Loss of interest in hobbies and/or extracurricular activities

Secrecy and/or lying about whereabouts

Isolation and withdrawal from family and friends

Lateness, missing classes and/or a drop in school grades

Increased irritability, hostility or defensiveness

Unusual telephone charges/usage

Valuables are missing from the home

Unusual activity on parental credit card statement

Physical evidence: betting slips, IOUs, lottery or scratch tickets

Note: Gambling often begins as a family activity. Are you perpetuating unhealthy gambling habits in your home?
Motives for
Teen Gambling

  • Relaxation
  • Enjoyment
  • Excitement
  • Entertainment
  • Adventure
  • Attention
  • Opportunity
  • Low Self Esteem
  • Peer Pressure
Other Evidence of Teen Problem Gambling

  • Isolation
  • Multiple game viewing
  • Overly intensive sports viewing
  • Overly upset at a game's outcome
  • Exaggerated display of money or other possessions
  • Interest in sports teams with no previous allegiance
  • Frequently plays card/dice games at home
  • Unusual interest in periodicals reporting sports results
  • Uncharacteristic usage of phone
  • Excessive TV sports watching
  • Telephone charges for sports results; calls to 1-900 phone numbers
  • Lying about whereabouts
Profile of the
Typical Teen Gambler

  • Successful
  • Motivated
  • Intelligent  (IQ 115-120 or higher)
  • Competitive
  • History of good or excellent performance at school or work
  • Alcohol or substance abuse has not been a part of regular behavior
  • Usually participates in hobbies or extracurricular activities
  • Holds high expectations of self and others; a perfectionist
  • Is bored easily in social settings