Lesson Plans on Gambling Behavior Webster defines the intransitive verb “gamble” 1a. to play a game for (as money or property); 1b. to bet on an uncertain outcome; 2. to stake something on a contingency: SPECULATE. It defines the transitive verb “gamble:” 1. to risk by gambling: WAGER; 2. VENTURE, HAZARD. • Gambling is playing a game of chance or betting money on the outcome of an event, race, game or outcome. (Gambling Education for Teens, California Council on Problem Gambling) • A simpler way to think of gambling is that any time you participate in an activity, in which you try to win more than what you had before, you are gambling.
Games of Chance: Arcades Shell Games Rolling Dice Midway Games at the Fair Lotteries Bingo Video Lottery Terminals Scratch and Win Cards Pull Tabs Flipping Cards Roulette Internet Gambling Sporting Events Raffles Sweepstakes Games of Skill: Poker and Other Card Games Pool Darts Video Games Race Track Betting Board Games Marbles Sports Lesson Plans on Gambling Behavior Gambling involves games of CHANCE and games of SKILL
Lesson Plans on Gambling Behavior Gambling Quiz #1 Answer true (T) or false (F) to the following statements: • Gamblers who lost large amounts of money just don’t know how to gamble. • If you flip a penny and it comes up “heads” four times in a row, the next flip will be more likely to come up “tails” than “heads.” • About 30 percent of teens have some level of gambling problem. • “Chasing” is gambling to win back money that has previously been lost through gambling. • Buying raffle tickets and betting on school sports events are not considered gambling. • It’s okay to spend all of your paycheck on gambling because you might win even more than you earned. • About 67 percent of adolescents gamble. • People gamble strictly because it’s fun. • You must be 18 or older to gamble legally in Kentucky. • Some people who gamble have higher than average intelligence.
Lesson Plans on Gambling Behavior Gambling is legal in every state in the United States and the District of Columbia except: • Hawaii (considering gambling) • Tennessee (considering lottery) • Utah Total gambling revenues in the United States exceed $600 billion annually. There are three legal forms of gambling in Kentucky: • The Kentucky Lottery, which had $583 million gross revenue in 2000. • Horse Race Wagering, which saw $630 million wagered in 2000. • Charitable Gaming (bingo), which collected $573 million in receipts in 2000.
Lesson Plans on Gambling Behavior • Gambling dates to prehistoric times. • Lotteries were used in Colonial times to pay for the War of Independence and to start colleges. • KEES Scholarships (funded by Lottery receipts) help Kentucky students go to college. Teens gamble at a higher rate that adults: • A 1999 National Research Council survey reported 85 percent of adolescents gambled in their lifetime. • A 1997 survey of 6th grade-12th grade students in Louisiana led by Dr. James Westphal found that 86 percent had gambled. • Five surveys on youth gambling reported by Dr. Durand F. Jacobs, Loma Linda University Medical School, California, cited a median level of gambling participation between 1989-1999 as 66 percent, ranging in the surveys from 52-71 percent.
Lesson Plans on Gambling Behavior “Even without casino gambling in the state, Kentucky teens already have ample opportunity to gamble. We interviewed 22 teens about gambling, 10 girls and 12 guys. Every boy – and seven of the girls – had gambled, whether it was putting $2 into an NCAA betting pool at school, scratching lottery tickets or wagering on horses. “The attraction is simple. ‘When you gamble, you get this feeling like, ‘”Maybe the next time I will get lucky,’” said Maria Campos, 16, a junior at Tates Creek High School, who has visited Keeneland and placed $2 bets on races. Maria said the lure of gambling is its excitement, but with a ‘kind of dirty and bad’ feeling underneath. . . “’Santa always left scratch-off lottery tickets in my stocking,’ said Brent Schanding, 17, a senior at Bourbon County High School. ‘That made me question the legitimacy of Santa – and his involvement with the Kentucky Lotto.’ “Steven Bain, 18, a senior at Lafayette High School, is legal at the track now, but he also placed bets before he was of legal age. He and other boys said they were rarely carded at track windows. Other kids said they place wagers through parents, relatives or older friends.” (Lexington Herald Leader, Jan. 28, 1999)
Lesson Plans on Gambling Behavior Types of Gambling • NORMAL GAMBLING is what most people (estimated at 95 percent of the population by the Harvard Medical School Center for Addiction Studies MetaAnalysis) do for fun and entertainment. They have a limit to the amount of money they will use to gamble, and when they’ve reached the limit they will stop. Win, lose or draw, they stop when they choose. They may gamble once a year, once a month or once a week, but it does not cause problems with their day-to-day life. • PROBLEM GAMBLING starts when people gamble over the limit they have set for themselves and gamble longer than they thought they would. This may start to happen on a regular basis. They may start to have problems with their family, school or work because of it. They still can stop when they want to and may not be addicted yet. (Problem gamblers are 3-5 percent of the population according to the Harvard Medical School Center for Addiction Studies MetaAnalysis.) • PATHOLOGICAL or COMPULSIVE GAMBLING is an addictive illness. (The Harvard Medical School Center for Addiction Studies MetaAnalysis reports that slightly more than 1 percent of the population is pathological or compulsive gamblers.) The person has an uncontrollable impulse to gamble and can’t stop. These people may skip meals, lose sleep, forget to pick up their kids from school, and avoid doctor appointments, school, work, or even life just to gamble. It’s all they want to do. They may file for bankruptcy, get a divorce, lie and steal from others, and even commit suicide because of the mess gambling has caused in their lives.
Lesson Plans on Gambling Behavior There are two types of compulsive gamblers. • ACTION GAMBLERS often start gambling in their teens or younger. They place small bets on sporting events or while playing cards with their friends or relatives. They gamble at “skill” games, such as poker or other card games, horse and dog racing, and sports betting. They usually have large egos and low self-esteem. They go through the three phases of problem gambling during a 10-30-year time span. • ESCAPE GAMBLERS have some of the same characteristics as the action gambler. They have low self-esteem, are manipulative, become liars and go through the same phases of gambling. However, there are important differences. Gambling usually becomes a problem later in life, after age 30 or as late as 80. Escape gamblers play “luck” games such as slot machines, video poker, bingo, lottery, etc. They gamble to escape problems and to feel more powerful. They seem to be in a trance when they gamble. The three phases of compulsive gambling are: • Winning Phase – fun, exciting, entertaining, “rewarding” with occasional big wins. Unreasonable optimism, fantasies about the big win. • Losing Phase – loses consistently while betting increases. Preoccupation with gambling, sells personal possessions, borrows to bet, personality changes, gambles to recoup losses (called “chasing the bet”), misses work or school. • Desperation Phase – stealing, criminal activity to cover bets, panic and depression, alienation from friends/family, drops out of school/loses job. Self-esteem destroyed. Thinks about suicide.
Lesson Plans on Gambling Behavior Teen Gambling Warning Signs How can you tell whether someone may have a gambling problem? Here are some warning signs: • Unexplained need for money • Valuables and money missing from home • Frequent cards/dice games at home • Missing or late for school; misses social gatherings • Excessive and intensive TV sports watching • Interest in periodicals reporting sports results • Carrying large amounts of cash • Short, late-night phone calls to 900 numbers • Gambling paraphernalia (betting slips, lottery tickets) • Sells prized possessions • “Forgets” appointments and dates • Drop in grades and loss of non-gambling funds • Cultivates gambling language • Gambles to escape problems or disappointments • May become addicted to alcohol or other drugs • Often resorts to illegal activities to finance gambling
Lesson Plans on Gambling Behavior Behavioral Signs of Teen Gambling • The FAMILY may notice: • Frequent late night calls • Secrecy • Missing money • Family violence • The SCHOOL may notice: • Tardiness • Truancy • Grades falling • Stealing • Mood swings • The COMMUNITY may notice: • Criminal activity • Vandalism • Gang activity • Theft • Threatening calls • Robbery • Assault with deadly weapon • Insurance fraud
Lesson Plans on Gambling Behavior How to Spot a Problem Gambler • Always thinking about gambling or having an urge to gamble that they can’t stop. • Having to bet more money more often to keep up the thrill of gambling. • Being really cranky when trying to cut back. • Lying to hide gambling. • Making bets through illegal activity. • Trying to win the money they lost by gambling more. • Using gambling as an escape. • Making people they love unhappy. • Relying on others to help them when they lose all their money. • Not able to control or stop their gambling.
Lesson Plans on Gambling Behavior Teen Gamblers Often Are: • Intellectually astute • Articulate • Sociable • Charming and loving • Philanthropic • Energized and enduring • A risk-taker • Achievement oriented • Dreaming of the “big win” • Cleaver – rationalizes and • justifies the compulsive • behavior • Focused on hobbies that include gambling • Often insecure and manifesting low self-esteem • Unrealistic about goals • Hooked by distorted optimism
Lesson Plans on Gambling Behavior Are You a Problem Gambler? Answer the following questions “yes” or “no.” • Do you find yourself thinking about gambling activities at odd times of the day and/or planning the next time you play? • Do you find the need to spend more and more money on gambling activities? • Do you become restless, tense, fed-up or bad-tempered when trying to cut down on or stop gambling? • Do you ever gamble as a way of escaping problems? • After spending money on gambling activities, do you play again another day to try and win your money back? • Do you lie to your family and friends to hide how much you gamble? • If so, more than half the time? • In the past year, have you spent your lunch money or money for bus or train fares on gambling activities? • In the past year, have you taken money from someone you live with, without their knowing, to gamble? • In the past year, have you stolen money from outside the family, or shoplifted, to gamble? • Have you fallen out with members of your family, or close friends, because of your gambling behavior? • In the past year, have you missed school to participate in gambling experiences (5 times or more)? • In the past year, have you gone to someone for help with a serious money worry caused by participation in gambling activities? If you answered “yes” to four or more of the questions in the quiz, you may have a gambling problem.
Lesson Plans on Gambling Behavior For Teachers: Some Indicators of a Possible Gambling Problem in Students: • Unexplained absences from school. • Sudden drop in grades. • Change of personality (e.g., irritability, impatience, criticism or sarcasm). • Large amounts of money in student’s possession; bragging about winning at gambling. • Does the student have an unusual interest in newspapers, magazines or periodicals having to do with sports or horse racing? • Intense interest in gambling conversations. • Exaggerated display of money or other material possessions (e.g., cars, clothes, jewelry). • Change in behavior (e.g., school absences, behavior problems). • Gambling language in his or her conversation (e.g., five-timer, ten-timer, bookie, loan shark, point spread, underdog or favorite). • Exaggerated use of the word “bet” in his or her vocabulary. If you suspect that a student has a gambling problem, direct him or her to a counselor or other assistance. Adapted by the Kentucky Council on Compulsive Gambling from material supplied by the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey. KYCCG helpline: 1-800-GAMBLER
Lesson Plans on Gambling Behavior For Parents: Some Indicators of a Possible Gambling Problem among Youth: • Unexplained need for money. • Missing money or valuables from your home. • Weekly or daily card game in youth’s room. • Truancy from school. • Unusual time spent watching sports on TV. • Does the youth have an unusual interest in newspapers, magazines and periodicals having to do with sports or horse racing? • Large amounts of money in his or her possession. • Boasting about winnings. • Intense interest in gambling conversations. • Unaccountable explanation for new items of value in their possession (e.g., jewelry, clothes). • Several calls to sports phone lines on telephone bill. • Change of personality (e.g., irritability, impatience, criticism or sarcasm). • Unaccountable time away from home. If you suspect that a student has a gambling problem, direct him or her to a counselor or other assistance. Adapted by the Kentucky Council on Compulsive Gambling from material supplied by the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey. KYCCG helpline: 1-800-GAMBLER