Teens invited to focus on gambling


International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors launches gambling awareness competition in Quebec high schools and CEGEPS

Gambling is a popular high-risk activity among Quebec’s teenagers. In 2006, 36 % of high-school students reported having gambled at least once in a 12-month period. Of those who gambled, 17% were already experiencing some gambling related problems. McGill University’s International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High Risk Behaviors is continuing its mandate to address this problem head-on with a new initiative that engages teens in the prevention process.

On Sept. 8, the Centre will launch a multi-media competition for Quebec high school and CEGEP students about the risks associated with gambling. As part of the centre’s long-standing focus on prevention, this competition is designed to generate awareness about youth gambling while helping researchers gain a better understanding of gambling and risk-taking behaviours from the viewpoint of the teens themselves.

Students will be asked to create a short video or multimedia presentation on their views on gambling and what issues can arise when teens get overly involved in gambling. Participants are free to express themselves in any genre or format, be it a 30-second public service announcement, a 5-minute documentary or a free-form presentation. Submissions, which may be made in either French or English, will be judged on message clarity and content rather than on technical aspects of production and editing.

A panel of judges drawn from the Centre and the community of addictions researchers and treatment professionals will select the winners. A press conference to publicly announce each of the winners in both the secondary school and CEGEP (French and English) categories will be held early in 2009. Prizes will include a plaque with the names and schools of the winning team members, and a gift certificate for $500 (to be shared by group members) from an electronics store. A copy of the rules, guidelines and a detailed description of the competition is available at: www.youthgambling.com/

Established in 1992, McGill University's International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors has been involved in research and treatment, as well as the training of researchers and professionals concerned with youth gambling and other high-risk adolescent activities. The centre’s research has been helpful in identifying a number of risk and protective factors associated with child and adolescent risk-taking. These efforts have culminated in two multiple-award-winning interactive CD-ROM programs and video docudrama, as well as a successful poster contest and risk-prevention game.

On the Web: http://www.youthgambling.com/

Contact Information

Allison J. Flynn
Media Relations Office
allison.j.flynn [at] mcgill.ca
Office Phone: 
(514) 398-7698