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Gambling Addiction a Concern for Kids

Next month, the business ventures seeking full-fledged casino licenses will make their arguments in Albany about why they should be awarded them.
Next month, the business ventures seeking full-fledged casino licenses will make their arguments in Albany about why they should be awarded them.

While there are potentially significant economic benefits to areas that have casinos, there is also risk.

One substance abuse prevention specialist with Lourdes Youth Services Alcohol and Drug Education Prevention Team Program said it's important to bring awareness that gambling comes with risks.

Maria Fabrizi said it's important to talk to your kids about gambling, like you would when it comes to drugs and alcohol.

She also said if parents do gamble, they need to do so responsibly, because kids follow their lead. That includes having time and money limits.

"Gambling comes with its own set of risks. It's recognized in the medical literature as an addiction disorder. That means alcohol can have alcoholism, drug abuse comes with its own addiction and gambling can also have addiction problems," said Maria Fabrizi, a substance abuse prevention specialist with Lourdes Youth Services ADEPT Program.

By grade seven, 56 percent of kids gamble in some way, which is more than those who smoke or drink.

By 11th grade, statistics show that 69 percent of students gamble.

"If you think of drug abuse, the brain gets addicted to that substance. Gambling kind of rewards the brain in the same way that a substance does, so your brain kind of gets addicted to that rush. So somebody who is a little bit more susceptible to those addictive behaviors can fall into that pretty quickly and then it turns into a problem," said Fabrizi.

By late this fall, we expect to know what proposal has been selected to get the Southern Tier's casino license.
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