European Youth Portal
Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.

Gambling: bet your own life

Multi-media Contest Grand Prize Winning Video- 2008

„I’ve been playing for about two hours and it goes up and down, I can’t get more than a thousand over my stake. Mom calls me and Kačenka texts me to pick up some things in the shop and pharmacy“. (From the book: I, GAMBLER: Confession of a real gambler)


Gambling can affect any social group, including children. A study carried out by ESPAD shows that almost 1.1 % Czech boys at the age of 16 use slot machines daily and 32 % pathological gamblers had some gambling experience before they turned 18. Some of the risks threatening a gambler are stress related diseases, development of pathological gambling, depression, anxiety, social problems, self aggression, criminal activity and a greater risk of narcotic abuse. Gambler’s family and close friends are endangered too. The risk of becoming a pathological gambler is much higher for children and youth.


The Czech Republic “boasts” an enormous number of gambling rooms in comparison with other EU countries. These gambling places, out of keeping with law, are often placed close to schools and other public institutions. A civic association Proti hazardu (“Against gambling”) actively tries to fight this situation. One of their projects is a book written by Martin S., a gambler who decided to write a book about his own addiction “I, GAMBLER: Confession of a real gambler”. Martin used to be a successful young man and sportsman before he fell into bad ways. He tried to get money for his debts, life and games illegally. He destroyed a long-term relationship with his girlfriend and worried his mother to death. Eventually, he managed to break the curse by writing this book and also thanks to a helping hand of a good and luckily uncompromising friend.


An excerpt from the book: “I went home to get more money. I told everybody I had to run because I had a meeting on the other side of Prague. I was lying again… I checked my pocket to see how much money I managed to take. I took a bit too much. Never mind, I am reasonable enough not to leave everything in the gambling room… I actually took thirty five grand. I put thirty in my pocket and get change for the five… No, I have to make it today and get a bit higher. It can’t keep giving me those stupid numbers. But it does. I have to bet higher and higher, it goes up to four grand. But it’s just enough to get my stakes back. I have my last ten grand in credit. I bet five. Some of the numbers would get me around forty grand or more if they win! “Come on”, I am trying to juice the roulette up.”