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A 2002 regional survey by the Delaware Council on Gambling Problems (DCGP) found that more than 30 percent of all high school students gamble periodically," according to a July 22 story in Agape Press news service. "And the evidence indicates that gambling is a problem not only among older teens in high school, but among younger students as well. The study found that 43 percent of eighth-grade boys and 19 percent of eighth grade girls gamble.

"The council's deputy director, Linda Graves, says these children are among the first generation in America to grow up with gambling as an acceptable part of the culture. Because of a change in societal attitudes toward gambling in the past 20 years, parents and grandparents are more apt to engage young people in gambling activities. Graves says many young people who get involved with gambling are mimicking adult behavior...

"An eighth grader [who] gambles is 50 percent more likely to drink alcohol, three times more likely to use marijuana or other illegal drugs, and three times more likely to get into trouble with the police, get involved with gang violence, or steal or shoplift," Graves says.