How Gaming Can Negatively Affect All Nebraskans: Watch “Growing Up Gambling” On Nebraska NET tonight

What do “Candy Crush,” “Playstation,” “Fantasy Football,” and “March Madness” have in common?  They are all subtle ways that your child can grow up to become addicted to gambling.  NOW WAIT JUST A MINUTE … before you go and throw out your video box OR before you stop reading, STOP and let me tell you where I am getting this from.

This morning I previewed a show that is premiering tonight on NET (Nebraska’s public television).  Before watching, I was a bit skeptical that this could ever be an issue for my family.   After all, my husband and I are not gamblers at all.  We do not play KENO.  Nor do we even buy lottery tickets.  For many grown-ups, these activities can be no big deal.

Yet after watching the show, I began to recognize several activities that we do that COULD create problem someday if we are not proactive with our choices.  Our family plans our homeschool schedule around March Madness.  Sad, but true.  This is because of me, not my husband.  I am a rather big fan of college basketball.  Our family does brackets for fun, but I do have one child that gets a bit obsessed with them.  Really with all sports throughout the year.  And this could be an issue for him someday.

Gambling has changed definitions – now many people refer to it as “gaming.”  Less of a stigma.  Our family likes games, and they like to win.  For kids who grow up playing too many video games, this can move beyond having fun to needing more of an adrenaline rush.  The need to play.  Yes gambling can be just as addictive as anything else.

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What kid would not enjoy spinning a big wheel and playing with lots of fun colored chips?

So, I am very glad I watched the special, “Growing Up Gambling.”  I was completely unaware as to just how accessible gambling has become.  This is yet another area that I want to help our kids to see the potential dangers of letting a fun activity go quickly out of control.  One fact I learned – many of the video games are designed in the same format as gambling games.  And many games now have memory references – such as a Beach Boys slot machine or Avatar.  If you are into the theme, you could get subtly get into a gambling habit.

I would highly recommend this show for adults and for teenagers.  Note: a few of the games briefly shown are a bit graphic, so this is not a family show!  Here is the official description directly from NET.

Program Description:   “Growing Up Gambling” takes viewers inside the brain of an online gamer and online gambler, telling the story of a student’s downward spiral into addictive online sports betting. During the half-hour program, Dr. Jeffrey Derevensky of the International Center for Youth Gambling Problems explains that 18 to 25 year old individuals have the highest prevalence for problem gambling among the entire adult population. Blurred lines divide child’s play gaming from gambling. “Growing up Gambling” illustrates how advancement of technology makes it easy to engage in high-stakes gambling. Easy access via mobile gambling puts a tech-savvy generation at greater risk than prior generations.

·         Preview: http://netnebraska.org/interactive-multimedia/television/growing-gambling-coming-net

  Air Times:

o   NET-1: Friday, May 9, at 7 p.m. CT on NET1, Sunday, May 11, at 9:30 p.m. CT and Friday, May 16, at 6 p.m. CT

o   NET2 World: Sunday, May 11, at 5 p.m. CT; Monday, May 12, at 7 p.m. CT; Wednesday, May 21, at 6 p.m. CT; Saturday, May 24, at 1:30 p.m. CT; and Sunday, May 25, at 5 p.m. CT.

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