Does a separate subject “Dangers of Gambling” make sense?

Schoolchildren in the US state of Maryland could soon get an additional subject. It is currently being discussed whether the “dangers of gambling” will be introduced as a new subject. The aim here is to make young people aware of the risks involved in gambling and learn how to deal responsibly with this topic.

Dangers of Gambling

It is common knowledge that young people in particular are prone to potential gambling addiction. A separate subject is to be introduced so that children and young people learn at an early stage the risks involved in gambling. At least that’s what CNS Maryland reports.

Learn about gambling dangers at school?

The idea is that boys and girls should be taught the dangers of gambling in high schools. And that the danger of gambling addiction is omnipresent if you don’t learn the responsible extent. Therefore, at least in the US state of Maryland, a separate subject is to be included in the curriculum that deals with the dangers of gambling. A few days ago, the responsible Senator Bryan Simonaire presented a bill to pave the way for the new subject.

The individual US districts should be able to independently develop concepts in order to achieve the defined learning objective. It is possible that the topic can be added to the existing curriculum or that a completely new curriculum is developed. It is not yet clear to what extent the subject should be integrated into the pupils’ weekly schedule.

Gambling addiction: Young people are particularly at risk

The question of why young people should be specifically informed about the risks of gambling is quickly answered. A number of studies have shown that young people between the ages of 18 and 34 are particularly addicted to gambling. Other risk factors for an impending gambling addiction are, for example, a migration background and a low income. In addition, men are significantly more likely to experience problematic gaming behavior than women.

It was also shown that experience shows that the risk of gambling addiction increases when those affected start playing at a young age. If instead one succeeded in making children and young people aware of the corresponding dangers at an early stage, problematic gaming behavior could be prevented in later life.

US Senator Simonaire submitted such a draft law last year. However, due to the onset of the global crisis, the law was no longer passed. So now the senator tries in the second attempt to implement his prevention idea.

More prevention avoids gambling addiction

The Senator from Maryland sees prevention as an effective way to combat gambling addiction before it even develops. Of course, therapy for those who are already addicted to gambling is also important and should continue to be carried out professionally. If, however, one succeeds in influencing young people at an early stage, one might reduce the number of future gambling addicts. Nevertheless, Simonaire does not turn a blind eye to the fact that the state generates high income from gambling, for example to serve other priorities in the country.

The teaching idea also met with criticism

The idea of ​​Siminaire does not go down well with all politicians. Senators Cheryl Kagan and Paul Pinsky, for example, criticize that one should not interfere in the curriculum. The respective education authority is ultimately responsible for this. After the two senators expressed their criticism in this regard last year, it is to be expected that they will not approve the draft law this year either.

Some of the school authorities are also not happy with the proposal. They pointed out that not all conceivable topics can be taught in school. After all, there are a number of topics that are even more important than educating young people about the dangers of gambling. In a country like America, this includes healthy eating and the issue of abuse.


If the draft law is passed by a majority, the first schoolchildren could be trained on the subject of “dangers of gambling” in the school year 2022/2023. Although the idea of ​​such a subject certainly makes sense, the question remains whether there are actually more important topics, as pointed out by the school authorities. After all, it is not possible to teach every imaginable subject in school. Here, the legal guardians in particular have the responsibility to bring their children closer to the “dangers of life” and, for example, to make them aware of the risks of gambling.

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