By: Mark Mulholland
SARATOGA SPRINGS – The marketing is prominent.
And so are the gambling options.
You can’t go far around here without coming across a chance to wager some money.
All the options tend to force the hand of parents to talk about gambling with their children.
Nick Parslow of Saratoga Springs, says honesty has been the best approach with his 15-year-old twins, Noah and Miles.
“We’ve been very upfront with them that there is a lot of interest and excitement around it but it can be a risky behavior,” said Parslow about what he tells his children.
He says his kids are smart and won’t buy into the “just say no” mentality when they see how the community thrives, in part because of gambling.
“It’s very hard to tell them all these things are bad when they look around at what a wonderful town we have based on some of those things,” Parslow said.
And soon there could be more gaming options in Saratoga Springs. The Casino and Raceway hopes to be the winning bidder for full-table games.
Here or elsewhere in the region, now’s a good time to step up prevention.
“It certainly makes it that much more important that we’re out there with the message and raising awareness among parents of the risks of you gambling,” said Robin Lyle of The Prevention Council. “Regardless of where gambling expands in the state there’s going to have to be heightened prevention efforts.”
The Prevention Council plans an outreach to 90,000 parents, beginning next month. They hope parents will share the message with children that gambling now can lead to gambling addicts later. Something Nick Parlsow’s boys already know.
“Try to be realistic with them and kind of show them real examples.”
The Prevention Council plans meetings and presentations to parent groups, and a web site that will launch next month.