AMHERST – Gambling is a risky way to try to make a quick buck.
That quickly became clear during a drama called ’82 per cent’ staged in front of hundreds of students by the Responsible Gambling Council yesterday at Amherst Regional High School.
“Young adults are exposed to gambling images almost every day and often don’t perceive gambling as a risky activity,” said Barry Koen-Butt, director of awareness programs and communications with the RGC. “RCG youth dramas have proven to be an effective tool to deliver awareness messages about the risks of gambling to this age group before they are of legal age to gamble.”
82 per cent follows the life of Chris, a first-year university student, as he tries to negotiate his way through his gambling addiction.
82 per cent refers to his belief in a gambling system where he says he has an 82 per cent chance of winning his bet.
He steals from a close friend to make the bet but his strategy fails him and he ends up owning money to the wrong people.
Chris ends up quitting school, moving home and getting a job to pay off his debts to friends and family.
The play was followed by an interactive game between the actors and students to help reinforce what they learned from the play.
The first question the actors asked was, “What did Chris lose by gambling?”
With the jingle from Jeopardy playing in the background, answers the students gave included; Money, relationships, self-respect, trust, options and opportunities, and school.
The second question they asked, “What could Chris have done to prevent his gambling problem?”
Answers the students gave included: Set limits on his gambling money and time, not gambled, asked for help, not borrow money, and join a mixed martial arts club, which fell under the category of getting involved in other activities.
After that game ARHS Students Alisha Christie and Willie Legere competed to see who could answer questions the quickest.
The first question was, “What is a website you can go to for help?”
Legere answered, www.responsiblegambling.org
The second question was, “Where can you get help locally?”
Legere answered, “Addiction Services Amherst.”
The third question was, “Is there a phone number you can call for help.”
Christie answered the question correctly.
Anybody who needs help with a gambling addiction, or any other addiction can call Addiction Services Amherst at 667-7094.
Signs of problem gambling
Thinking more and more about the game
Skipping classes or work to gamble
Spending more money or time than intended on gambling
Spending more money to win back money that’s been lost
Lying to family and friends about gambling
Expecting to make money from gambling
Information provided by the Responsible Gambling Council