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Information for parents

Myths and facts

Young people dream of becoming rich overnight or finding an easy way to make money. These dreams cloud their view of the real chances of winning.

It is important, therefore, to discuss the facts with them:

  • Chance always wins – betting games are totally unpredictable It’s the same with poker and sports betting. There are only a few poker players around the world who play for a living.
  • The losses are always more than the wins – that’s how the gambling industry is financed.
  • You are more likely to be struck by lightning than to choose the six numbers you need to win the lottery.

The legal situation – young people

Offering games to young people under 16 years of age is prohibited. This is intended to protect young people rather than punish them. However, young people can still access these services by providing a false age and using a credit card. Many gambling youngsters do this.

Participating in illegal betting games on the Internet is not a punishable offence. However, they do not operate within a binding legal framework so you cannot claim a prize, for example.

Protection factors for young people

Talking creates protection: talk to your child or teenager about their interests. You need to be interested in the world they live in – whether it’s about video games, betting games or sports interests – if you want to communicate properly. Talk to your child or young person in an age-appropriate way.

Tip: Take time to talk

“What do you dream about?” / “What would you do if you won a lot?” / “What makes this game so interesting?” / “Why do you like it so much?” Try out a game together.

Families are important to young people – even if it doesn’t seem that way sometimes. Cohesion protections young people from developing problematic gambling or consumer habits.

Risk factors for young people

High-risk gambling behaviour

  • About a quarter of young people have played a betting game in the last 12 months. In Switzerland, 5% of young people aged 15 – 19 who gamble exhibit problematic habits, compared to 2-3% of adults.
  • Young people also get into debt faster when they gamble because they have less money at their disposal.

Risk factors

  • Boys play more and tend to develop more problems than girls.
  • The younger a child starts to gamble, the more often it becomes problematic.
  • Gambling increases when a lot of pocket money is available and spending is not regulated.
  • Chaotic family relationships, neglect of the young person and lack of parental involvement are also risk factors.

What can you do as parents?