|May 20, 2021 11:00 AM
|Representative Napoleon J. Nelson
|All House members
|Study on Youth Gambling
|With increased access to technology and the internet, children may unknowingly be partaking in gambling-like activities due to misleading advertising. As such, kids are as much at risk as adults of developing a problem gambling addiction. Approximately 2.1 percent of U.S. adolescents ages 14 to 21 struggle with a problem gambling addiction, while experts estimate 6.5 percent are at-risk. In kids, problem gambling may lead to failing grades, changes in mood, withdrawal from social activities, and more. This may eventually lead to additional problems in adulthood, such as bankruptcy, trouble with the law, job loss, familial problems and, in some cases, suicide.
With the increased isolation that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has brought on, it is more important than ever that we educate our children on the consequences of youth gambling. For this reason, I am introducing a resolution to direct the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to conduct a comprehensive study on the impact of gambling on adolescents in Pennsylvania. At minimum, the study will address:
(1) the current state of youth gambling in Pennsylvania;
(2) topics including peer pressure, bullying, addiction, skill versus luck, participation in and advertising of fantasy sports and other forms of sports betting, and cyber safety; and
(3) the best course of action for educating children on the harmful consequences of gambling.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation to ensure that we know the full scope of this issue, so that the General Assembly is able to make informed decisions about what can be done further to protect Pennsylvania’s children from the risks and consequences of youth gambling.