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Bet you didn’t know about youth gambling?

Bet you didn’t know about youth gambling?

@TheSunGazette

tulare county – I bet you’d never guess that most youth have engaged in some sort of gambling by the age of 11. Chances are you know an elementary school child who is betting on sporting events or dares. And it’s a safe bet that youth are exposed to gambling by family members are more likely to gamble themselves. But I bet you didn’t know the number one way to prevent youth gambling is through education.

All of those facts were from data collected from 550 youth ages 10-18 for a prevalence study that was discussed this week in Anaheim as part of the eighth annual Betting On Our Future (BOOF) Spotlight Festival.

Over 225 young people and adult allies gathered Monday, June 12 at the Sheraton Park Hotel where students, including a large number of Tulare County students, are participating in workshops and creating new media pieces to deliver the message of hope for those affected by problem gambling and messages on prevention of problem gambling.

The youth are working under the direction of Royer Studios in developing new media pieces on site through today, June 14. The Spotlight Festival includes a film festival competition of the public service announcements created by 29 project sites across California. Each of the sites received a mini-grant from the California Center for Youth Development and Health Promotion to identify problem gambling issues in their community, produce public service announcements and messages to address it, and find ways to get their messages out in their area.

Funded by the Office of Problem Gambling at the CA Dept. of Public Health, the event is gaining national prominence and welcomed youth from Connecticut, as well as speakers from Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Ohio. The youth will attend workshops on public service announcement production, how to use data, how to not be a bystander when you see help is needed, how predatory lending practices of payday lenders is financial injustice and financial literacy from the National Endowment for Financial Education.

The youth will also participate in the Disney Youth Education Series and the cost of that experience is being sponsored by The Bicycle Hotel and Casino, The Garden Casino and Commerce Casino. Additional sponsorship for the Spotlight Festival is provided by the CA Lottery. For more information, call Dr. Jim Kooler at 559 733-6496, or go to www.fridaynightlive.org. Join our young people in making our schools and communities safer and filled with opportunities.

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