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Games of chance

What are they?

There are 4 criteria that make a game a game of chance:

  • the gamer bets money or another valuable object
  • the gamer cannot take the bet back
  • the gamer can either lose or win
  • the outcome of the game is based wholly or partly on chance

In Quebec, the legal age for gambling is 18 years.

What and why do people play?

The main games of chance

The main games of chance are lotteries, casino games, online games where money is bet (for example, online poker), sports betting, bingo, card games, and video lottery terminals (VLTs).

Reasons for gaming

Young people start playing games of chance for various reasons. For example, it might be for the excitement and the love of taking risks, the hope to win money fast (which is unrealistic), to escape their problems, to avoid loneliness, for fun, to make new friends, because “everybody’s doing it,” or out of boredom.

Frequently asked questions

How can I help a friend who has a gambling problem?
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If you have a friend who has a gambling problem, here’s some advice that will enable you to help him/her:

  • Listen to him/her without judging or preaching.
  • You could suggest that he/she talk to a professional at school or phone Tel-jeunes or the Gambling: Help and Referral line at any time.
  • Recognize your own limits and decide how much you can help your friend without taking the whole burden on your own shoulders.
Is it possible to get over a gambling problem without help?
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As with all dependencies, it’s very hard to get over a gambling problem alone. Even when we really want to, sometimes our old habits and desires pull us back. That’s why it’s better to get help. Don’t hesitate to consult a professional or contact Tel-jeunes or the Gambling: Help and Referral line (1 800 461-0140) at any time.