"App"rehensive: The Blurring Lines Between Gaming & Gambling - and How to Protect Our Most Vulnerable
Julie M. Hynes, MA, CPS
National Conference on Problem Gambling
Orlando, FL July 2014
t h e
o f games a nd
The complete slide deck & print-
friendly handouts are posted at:
Oregon Problem Gambling Services
Dameri Wagner, University of Oregon
More than ever, problem gambling specialists need to
be aware of technology and the issues that face
populations from youth to those in recovery for
Is our definition of “gambling” blurring?
Are youth at risk for disordered gambling by merely
playing a free poker app?
Is a person in recovery at risk by playing frequent, often
excessive, online social games?
Identify several recent trends, technological issues
and parallels related to gambling and gaming.
Identify which populations present the greatest risk
for harmful consequences related to excessive
online gaming behavior.
Name tools that can be used to help reduce the risk
of harmful consequences of electronic
There’s only so much
info we all know.
This is focused mainly
connections, but parallels
are likely to be seen with
Some content here could
present as a “trigger.”
If you feel yourself starting to be
triggered, please feel free to do
whatever you need to do to feel
Made it illegal to make interstate sports
While this is technically legal today at
licensed racetracks, the government has
cited the act to prevent ONLINE sports
Made it illegal for banks and credit card companies
to allow money to be transferred to online casinos or
Fostered growth in third party (PayPal-esque)
accounts for money transfers
Individual states sometimes have very specific, restrictive laws
about online gambling.
Some states expressly prohibit online gambling by residents
while others have no clear laws.
online gambling: NV
“Internet Gaming Disorder”
A condition warranting more clinical
research and experience before it might
be considered for inclusion in the main
book as a formal disorder.
A sample of 1,178 youth
in the U.S.: 8.5% of youth
gamers were classified as
>80% play video games
at least occasionally
(using 5 of 10 of DSM-IV;
this was prior to DSM-5)
Source: Pediatrics, 2011 Feb; 127(2): e319-29
5.6% college age (18-24)
2½ % all adults (18+)
4% teens (13-17)
This is the first
We really don’t
know the effects
CORTEX is the LAST
PART to develop.
is still developing
The PREFRONTAL CORTEX is responsible for higher level
thinking, like decision making, holding attention, coping skills,
controlling impulses, problem solving and planning.
Starting unhealthy behaviors at young ages can mess up this
Source: Brain Briefings (2007, October), Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC
Dopamine not released when expecting a loss.
Flooded with dopamine when expecting a win!
It’s NOT about the money!
Electronics: about the action. Sound familiar?
dopamine to be
more likely to
see their near
APPS: check them.
PASSWORDS: get them.
PRIVACY: all profiles.
CONTROLS: set them (yours, not just the
CHECKS: spontaneously, do it.
• Keep computer use in open area – if you
can (desktop computer).
• Monitor, monitor, monitor.
• Sites – gambling, parties, “how-to”
• Social media accounts.
Teens “care about their privacy (but) it’s not
always the same kind of privacy that we as
adults have. Teens are more concerned
about privacy from their parents, their
teachers, their schools.”
– Amanda Lenhart (source: Forbes.com, 8/22/13)
My 80’s Frogger
Image source: eBay user duramax1989
Check out the games/apps WITH your kids
Play with your kids or sit with them while they play. You
will have fun and learn about their gaming, too.
Check the ratings of the games your kids want to play.
In the U.S. and Canada, most games sold at retail stores
are described and rated by the Entertainment Software
Rating Board (ESRB). Use these ratings as you discuss
the most appropriate games with your child or teen.
Note that many of these ratings list “E” for everyone!
Major mobile services (e.g., AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon)
offer family protection plans
Features include: GPS, purchase blocking, turning off
browsing/data/texting, time of day, etc.
See www.preventionlane.org/online-safety for a list of
helpful links to these services
Practicality alert: Some features CANNOT be blocked when user has
access to WiFi (so…you may need to change your WiFi password
Check privacy settings so their
identifying info isn’t available to
outsiders, even “friends of friends.”
Insist on access to their pages
Be home by 11. Have fun &
text if you need a ride.
Yep got it
ok thanks mom
Dr. Kimberly S. Young – Available on Amazon / Kindle
Pay attention to clues: restless,
withdrawal, lack of interest, different
friends, signs you know from problem
INTERVENE if you see warning signs.
(Get intervention tips: