Debby Miller, a clinical social worker from the Larchmont/Mamaroneck Counseling Center, was the guest speaker at our November 17th meeting. The Center is involved in our community and schools, providing substance abuse education, identifying and offering help to at-risk kids and running Life Skills and other groups for kids.

Her first topic was Internet betting, which began two years ago in New York and has changed the gambling landscape. There now exist thousands of gambling sites.  Their advertising is aimed at children and young adults. One study revealed that 39.5% of kids 12 to 17 have gambled in the past year.
Debby then explained the difference between gaming and gambling. The decks are stacked against the kids in games which offer buy-ins because the games then get much harder. She discussed variable ratio payouts, "loot boxes" and the Gambler's Fallacy. 
She went on to cover social casino games, where multiple players are involved such as poker gaming.  Then she covered sports betting, where kids have the opportunity to practice with fake money. Esports is another area which has become very popular and has a gambling aspect.
There are basically three behavior categories when it comes to gambling: Non-gambling, At risk gambling and Problem gambling.
She concluded with recommendations for how parents should discuss gambling with their children.  Her recommendation is to begin talking to them around age nine.
For help with problem gambling, you can visit to find your local resource center. They strive to connect individuals and families adversely affected by gambling to the help they need.
To see more photos from this event, click here.