Teens use allowance to gamble

Justin Honarvar began buying scratch tickets in Grade 11, shelling out between $5 to $10 a day.

During the course of one year, that’s anywhere from $1,820 to $3,640 — a lot of money for a teenager to throw away.

“But I’d win,” he said.

High school students tell the Sun they regularly see peers rolling dice in stairwells.

“Certainly there are opportunities to gamble in school. Our suspicion is it’s more on their free time but we can’t be sure,” said Mann.

Both the Ottawa Carleton District School Board and the Ottawa Catholic refused to comment on how much gambling is going on in their schools.

And why teenagers addicted to cutting the cards aren’t seeking help is a toss up.

Mann said adolescents who have problems with gambling, gaming, and Internet use usually have underlying and sometimes undiagnosed mental health problems.

“We don’t see them, they don’t come, period,” said Yvon Lemire, the director of addiction and mental health services at the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre.

“It’s not just in Ottawa. I hear this from colleagues across the province,” Lemire said.

Honarvar, who is now 21, is in the baking and pastry program at Algonquin College.

He said he stopped trying his luck because he needs money for school.


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