Talking to kids

Young peoples’ attitudes towards betting start developing long before it’s legal for them to be able to do so. It’s important to have a conversation about gambling with your kids early, much like having ‘the talk’ about drinking, drugs and sex.

Conversation starters

  • Have you noticed the betting ads on TV?
  • Do you think sports betting seems risky?
  • Do you think people have to gamble to enjoy sports?
  • What do you think about gambling?
  • Have any of your friends ever gambled?

Talking points

  • Betting companies need to make a profit to stay in business. If they weren’t making money off it, they wouldn’t do it. It’s designed for them to win.
  • Gambling works on the rules of probability – the odds of winning don’t change.
  • There’s no such thing as a sure bet. While a better’s knowledge might increase, luck and other factors can always change the outcome more.
  • Gambling advertising can make betting seem less risky through ‘cash-back’ and ‘bonus bet’ offers. It’s still just as dangerous.

Positive discussion tips

  • Tell stories

Using the experiences of others can be a constructive way to get a point across.

  • Learn to listen so your kids will talk

Kids are more receptive to discussing issues when they know you’re actively listening to their thoughts.

  • Choose the right time

More casual situations are better opportunities to talk about gambling. Times like the drive to footy practice or watching a game are relevant and easy.

  • Use humour

Try to lighten things up. If the conversation becomes too intense, your kids may switch off.

  • Tailor your message

Keep them interested in the discussion by making it relevant to them, using examples of things in their life.

  • Do it in small doses

Lots of short conversations are better than one long one. The message won’t get exhausted, and the topic will remain a constant.

  • Practise what you preach

Young people are easily influenced by you. If they see you gambling regularly, they’ll start to think it’s normal. Always explain the risks involved in any gambling you yourself do.