Effects of Gambling on Adolescents

Gambling has been a popular past-time in the United States, but has been suppressed for nearly as long. In the early 20th century, the U.S. had almost universally outlawed gambling, which led to the growth of organized crime and mafias. Fortunately, attitudes towards gambling have softened and laws against gambling have been relaxed in recent years. Still, there is no shortage of negative consequences related to this addiction.


Gambling is an activity in which people wager money or material value on a hypothetical outcome with the primary intention of winning a prize or money. There is some element of chance, consideration, and prize to gambling, but the results are typically evident within a short period of time. Legal gambling involves betting at gaming houses, which are businesses that offer gambling activities to the public. Such companies are regulated by gaming control boards. The following article discusses the effects of gambling on adolescents.

The main problem with gambling is that it involves uncertainty. People who gamble risk losing something of value and winning nothing. The outcome of these events may be determined by chance or the bettor’s miscalculation. However, in the UK, the legal gambling market was estimated to be at $335 billion in 2009. While the gambling industry is dominated by casinos and poker rooms, a wide variety of other activities can be considered “gambling”. For example, marbles players might bet on marbles instead of coins. Similarly, players of Magic: The Gathering game may place a wager on the value of their collectible game pieces.