Should Parents Introduce Their Children To Gambling?

The accessibility of modern online gambling presents children with the opportunity to easily engage in this activity within/after school hours. Although most parents don’t agree with kids wagering money on chance games, you have to agree with the fact that you cannot really do much to block their access, not with all the possibilities of portable communication devices that are equipped with powerful processors and an internet connection. However, the problem still stands: is it morally wrong to teach our children about gambling?

Personal case study: First Poker education

Nowadays you can easily play online gambling games, nevertheless gambling, especially card playing and betting on horses, was a part of my upbringing even before these sites existed, and, consequently, part of our kids’ upbringings. I’ll have to admit that, as a child, my family would rarely engage in card games like Poker together, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t get my fair share of gambling education. In fact, the post-dinner family gatherings constituted the first contacts I had with gambling, when a few of my distant relatives would gather all the over bored children who were forced to sit quietly at the table and listen to endless “adult” debates about politics for a 5 card poker game. Needless to say, we played for pennies and most of the time we lost to the adults, but we actually learned the ropes and the intricacies of the games rather quickly and, in time, we learned how to beat them at their own game.

The moral

These poker sessions provided me the chance to learn more than the rules and strategies of the game. In fact, they taught me that there are no certainties in gambling – or in life – and that winning is not always more important than having fun. At the same time, I learned how to evaluate my chances of success, how to tone down my bets according to my funds and, most importantly, how to interpret people’s reactions. It is these lessons that lead me to believe, no matter how much the media tries to capitalize on the scandals in the gambling world and the potential threat they represent to our society, chance games are not as dangerous as you may think.


Parents should accept the fact that their children will eventually learn about gambling from one source or another anyhow. If you prefer your kids to have the glorified “forbidden fruit” version presented by newspapers and TV shows rather than have a down to earth talk about gambling and responsible practices, then by all means, try to shield them from it as much as you can. On the other hand, if you want children to learn about both the benefits and risks associated with gambling games, then you should actually introduce them to the concept.