Each year, thousands of teens find themselves in the throes of a gambling disorder (sometimes called “gambling addiction”). In Atlantic City, throughout Marlboro Township, and across the state of New Jersey, teenage men and women begin gambling at surprisingly young ages.

According to a national study, 60% to 80% of high schoolers have tried some form of gambling in the past year, whether in a casino in Atlantic City or the basement of a friend’s house. Ten percent of those individuals are at risk for developing serious gambling problems when they reach adulthood.

Know the Warning Signs

Parents are often alarmed to find that their teenage sons and daughters have engaged in dangerous activities. While not all teens who gamble at a young age develop disordered behavior, those who exhibit unusual behavior such as weekly trips to AC, unexplained excesses of cash, or sudden interest in sports scores may be showing the tell-tale signs of a gambling disorder.

While gambling at a young age can sometimes be an act of rebellion in adolescent teens, it is vitally important to recognize the difference between defiant actions and a serious issue. If a parent or close relative has been known to show problematic gambling tendencies, teenage gambling should not be taken lightly. If this is the case, they may be engaging in the most obvious indications of a predisposition for excessive gambling.

It is never an easy task to confront a teenage son or daughter who may be suffering from a problem with excessive gambling. Teens often engage in activities that they’d rather not share with parents during adolescence. However, the price of not speaking up can be high.

Disordered gambling affects families everywhere, from Marlboro Township and Freehold to Monmouth and across the entire country. The first step in treating this disorder is recognizing that there is one – a sometimes difficult task with disordered gambling. Some people refer to disordered gambling as the “hidden addiction” because there are sometimes no easily identifiable external signs or symptoms of the person’s struggle. However, once a problem is recognized, parents should seek treatment for their teenage children as soon as possible.

Parents or teens who have begun to recognize the early onset signs of problem gambling should not hesitate to call or text the 800-GAMBLER hotline today: prompt treatment can be life-saving.

Help is a Phone Call Away

The 800-GAMBLER hotline offers help for gambling in Freehold, NJ, and throughout the state from any phone. With a simple text or call, those suffering from problematic gambling behavior can get much-needed help, whether in Atlantic City, Freehold, Monmouth, or anywhere else in New Jersey. By connecting parents and their children with helpful resources like Gamblers Anonymous meetings, which take place in Monmouth, NJ, and all throughout the state, we can assist teens struggling with habits that can derail lives and wound families if left unchecked.

By calling or texting 800-GAMBLER, parents and their children can access professional help for a teenage gambling problem anytime they need it. The hotline is completely free and confidential, and operates 24/7. The compassionate specialists on the other end of the line will help callers from across New Jersey to determine what kind of meeting, inpatient treatment, or other types of help they may need to begin the process of recovery.


Recover Together. Find a meeting close to you. 

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