Gambling Boys will premiere on Passionate Eye, CBC News Network, Monday, March 1, at 10pm ET/PT.
Gambling Boys, a documentary produced by EyeSteelFilm in association with CBC, delves in to the world of teen gambling, a world that offers excitement, the potent allure of making big money, and as many are discovering, the potential for serious addiction problems. And with the barrage of marketing campaigns, television coverage of poker tournaments, and easy access to online gaming, it is no surprise that teens are increasingly affected. Experts are finding that the rate of problem gamblers among young people is two to four times higher than for adults.
Gambling Boys features three youths ranging in age from 14 to 21. The youngest, Dakota, just started online poker. He loves to play, to the point that his mother must strictly limit his time on the computer or he would be on all day –and night. She knows her son is competitive, whether he is bowling, running a track race, or at the poker table. She also thinks if you over protect a child he wonâ€™t develop his own limits.
Jamie, 21 years old, lost two years of high school due to his poker addiction. He spent his days and nights at the nearby casino, or in the schoolâ€™s cafeteria, instead of attending classes. Recently back in school, he is using his head for numbers and taking an accounting course. He still gambles and thinks he has it under control, but as he says, â€œOnce an addict, always an addict.â€
And then thereâ€™s Clifford, eighteen, just out of high school and two months into his rehab program. His problem is sports betting. He loved to place bets, often up to $10,000 a day. He is great with numbers, running multiple bets with multiple bookies, never writing anything down, calculating everything in his head. Finally, he knew he had to stop. Threats from bookies, a near financial catastrophe during Super Bowl weekend, led him to talk to his teacher and find help. With the support of his mother, who had never worried about gambling, just drugs and alcohol, Clifford hopes his gambling is behind him. He also admits, if he starts gambling again, his life will be over.
Interwoven throughout are lively interviews with high school students, a debt collector who knows exactly whatâ€™s happening when kids get in over their heads, and the passionate story of Did, a recovered gambler who now speaks to high school kids about his experiences.
Gambling Boys, written and directed by Laura Turek, offers a poignant and lively picture of teensâ€™ fascination with gambling and the harsh consequences of getting hooked. The film was produced by Sally Bochner and Tamara Lynch, executive producers, Mila Aung Thwin and Daniel Cross.
Contact: Sally Bochner. 514 278-4833. firstname.lastname@example.org or Daniela Flori: EyeSteelFilm: 514 937-4893 ext. 154. Email: Daniela.email@example.com.