Safeguarding Children from Gambling: Essential Tips and Resources

Want to protect your kids from gambling addiction? The rise of online gambling has made it more accessible, posing a significant risk to the youth in the UK. It's time to take action.

This guide is tailored to help parents, educators, and guardians understand gambling addiction in children, recognise the signs, and apply preventative measures effectively.

Continue reading to equip yourself with the knowledge and tools needed to create a protective environment for your children, ensuring their safety and well-being.

Safeguarding Children from Gambling: Essential Tips and Resources

Understanding and Addressing Gambling Addiction in UK Youth

Gambling addiction, also known as compulsive gambling, is a severe behavioural disorder characterised by an uncontrollable urge to gamble, leading to significant personal and financial consequences.

This condition extends beyond occasional betting, gambling addiction in children can manifest through online games and apps, not just traditional platforms like casinos or sports betting. The UK's youth are increasingly at risk, as recent statistics show a rise in gambling addiction among this age group.

Young individuals are losing control, chasing losses, and betting incessantly, which can deplete finances, strain relationships, and harm mental health. The ease of access to online gambling platforms has significantly contributed to this issue, necessitating immediate attention, action, and a comprehensive approach to prevention and education from parents, educators, and guardians.

Recognising the signs of gambling addiction early is crucial, especially in children and teenagers. Symptoms may include a constant preoccupation with gambling, increasing bet sizes, lying about gambling habits, and risking significant relationships for gambling.

Addressing this issue head-on is the first step towards safeguarding our younger generation's future, providing them with the necessary support, resources, and education to make responsible choices and be aware of the risks.

Overcoming gambling addiction in youth requires a tailored approach, including professional help, therapy, practical measures to limit gambling activities, and the support of family and friends.

As we explore this topic further, we will delve into effective prevention strategies, the role of control apps, and the available support networks, all aimed at curbing the rising tide of gambling addiction among the UK’s youth.

Signs Your Children are Gambling

Spotting the signs of gambling addiction in children is the first step towards intervention. Parents and educators must be vigilant, looking out for behaviours such as an obsession with gambling-related games or apps, changes in behaviour, and unexplained financial issues.

Common signs include a growing preoccupation with gambling, where the child may constantly think or talk about betting activities. You might notice changes in their behaviour, such as becoming secretive, withdrawn, or displaying mood swings, particularly after gambling activities.

A significant red flag is when a child starts to chase losses, believing that continued gambling will help them recover previous losses. This can lead to increased bet sizes and a willingness to take greater risks, often using money without permission or finding ways to access gambling platforms clandestinely.

Academic performance may also suffer, with a noticeable drop in grades or a lack of interest in schoolwork. Relationships with family and friends might become strained as the child prioritises gambling over other activities and commitments.

Recognising these signs early on is crucial, as it allows parents, educators, and guardians to take immediate action, seeking professional help if necessary, and implementing measures to curb gambling activities. By doing so, we can protect our children and guide them back onto a healthier path.

The Role of Education and Awareness

Educating children about the risks of gambling is key to prevention. Parents and teachers must be equipped with the right tools and knowledge to address this issue effectively, fostering a safe environment for kids.

Creating an open and educational environment helps demystify gambling addiction, breaking its stigma. This includes safe spaces for discussions, sharing resources, and educational programs that highlight the risks of gambling addiction.

Various resources and programs are essential, offering information and support. These can be workshops in schools, online materials, and support networks, all promoting responsible gambling habits.

Education and awareness are powerful tools for empowerment. They help everyone, especially young people, make safe choices, understand the risks, and seek help when necessary.

UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and Responsible Gambling

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) plays a crucial role in regulating gambling, enforcing strict standards to ensure a safe environment and minimise the risk of addiction, particularly for young people.

Beyond regulation, the UKGC actively promotes responsible gambling through public education and awareness campaigns, providing resources and support to help make informed decisions about gambling.

With a strong focus on protecting vulnerable groups like the youth, the UKGC is dedicated to minimising gambling addiction and creating a safer gambling landscape.

Use Gambling Control Apps

In the digital age, where online gambling is just a click away, employing gambling control apps has become an essential strategy in preventing gambling addiction. The UK boasts a variety of such apps, designed to monitor and restrict access to gambling sites, providing an additional layer of protection.

GamBlock, for instance, is a renowned app that blocks access to thousands of gambling websites and applications, ensuring that users are safeguarded from the potential risks of online gambling. Similarly, GamBan offers robust protection, effectively barring users from accessing gambling platforms on various devices.

Betfilter is another valuable tool in this arsenal, known for its advanced blocking capabilities and user-friendly interface. It provides a secure environment for individuals looking to steer clear of gambling content online.

Additionally, Net Nanny stands out as a comprehensive parental control app, allowing you to monitor and control your children’s internet usage, including access to gambling sites.

Utilising these gambling control apps is a proactive step towards creating a safer online space, free from the temptations of gambling. They serve as a vital resource for individuals, parents, and guardians, empowering them to take control and protect themselves and their loved ones from the risks associated with online gambling.

Implement Parental and Financial Controls

Taking proactive measures to shield children from the risks of gambling addiction is paramount, and this is where implementing parental and financial controls plays a crucial role. These controls serve as vital tools in creating a secure environment, mitigating the allure of gambling.

You can ask your bank to facilitate self-exclusion to allow you to monitor and restrict your children’s internet usage, ensuring they are not accessing gambling-related content. These controls can be set up on various devices, providing a comprehensive safeguarding solution.

By actively engaging in your children’s online activities and encouraging them to take up others, you can build open communication and awareness, further reducing the risk of gambling addiction.

Financial controls, on the other hand, are instrumental in preventing financial repercussions associated with gambling. These measures include setting up bank transaction blocks on gambling-related transactions, establishing spending limits, and monitoring account activities.

Such controls empower individuals and families to take charge of their finances, creating a buffer against the financial strains of gambling addiction.

Together, parental and financial controls form a robust defence against gambling addiction, particularly for the younger demographic.

Gambling Addiction Therapy and Treatment

Should you find that your child is in need of help, resources and professionals are readily available to assist.

Effective therapies include cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), which helps change harmful gambling behaviours, and support groups like Gamblers Anonymous, offering a space for shared experiences and peer support.

In some cases, medication may be needed for co-occurring mental health issues, and healthcare professionals can provide a tailored treatment approach. Seeking professional support is crucial for breaking the gambling addiction cycle, offering access to expertise, tools, and a supportive community for a healthier future.

Building a Support Network

Navigating the challenges of gambling addiction is a journey that shouldn’t be undertaken alone. Building a strong support network is paramount, providing individuals and their families with the strength and resources needed for recovery.

Families and friends also form an integral part of the support network, offering emotional backing and understanding. Engaging with these close connections can create a sense of belonging and stability, crucial elements in the recovery process.

Additionally, there are numerous resources available, ranging from counselling services to educational materials, all aimed at aiding those affected by gambling addiction. Leveraging these resources can provide valuable knowledge and tools, empowering individuals to take control of their recovery journey.


As we navigate the complexities of the digital age, the imperative to remain vigilant and proactive in preventing gambling addiction, especially among our youth, has never been greater. The journey towards a safer gambling environment requires the collective effort of parents, educators, guardians, and the wider community.

By recognising the signs of gambling addiction early, implementing effective parental and financial controls, and embracing the support of professional resources and networks, we can safeguard our children from the potential perils of gambling addiction.

Education and awareness remain our strongest allies, empowering us to foster a culture of responsibility and informed decision-making.

Further Resources

Alongside the main text's suggestions, consider exploring additional tools such as GAMSTOP for self-exclusion, GamCare for expert support, and BetBlocker for parental control, to further aid your child’s recovery from gambling issues.