With online gambling, lotteries and casino games becoming more and more accessible to our youth, it’s no wonder why the News Tribune is reporting that by the age of 20 half of Missouri youth have gambled. Renee Cunningham-Williams, an associate professor at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University, conducted a survey of those between 14 – 25. The most concerning question centers around the level of illegal gambling that must be taking place and when we should intervene to slow the risky behavior. The News Tribune explained:
It wasn’t clear precisely how much illegal gambling the youths engaged in, since the survey involved both children too young to legally gamble and young adults old enough to legally make wagers. In Missouri, people must be 18 to play the lottery and 21 to get onto the gaming floor in a casino.
Cunningham-Williams said early intervention could be helpful in reducing risk-taking gambling behaviors. “If we intervene now, we may prevent problems down the road,” she said.