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Community Initiatives & Settlement Services

Youth Gambling Awareness Program

The Youth Gambling Awareness Program (YGAP) is a free service offering educational prevention programs designed to raise youth awareness with regards to gambling, healthy/active living and making informed decisions.

Youth today are the first generation to grow up in a society where gambling is actively promoted, legalized and glamorized and participation in internet gambling has steadily increased among young adults. Youth are less likely to get involved in problematic behaviours if their coping strategies are enhanced and the good news is we can help.

Together with the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion, the YMCA believes educational awareness raising programs are essential to enhancing personal development and creating healthier communities. Through fun, interactive workshops YGAP provides youth with information that will help them make informed choices around gambling and other high-risk behaviours.

Note to teachers and educators:

Educators play a key role in helping their students understand the signs of problem gambling. In addressing the needs of youth between the ages of 8 and 24, the YMCA Youth Gambling Awareness program offers a series of educational workshops/presentations. These workshops introduce students to the potential risks of gambling, provide information about gambling and the role probability plays in games of chance and helps students recognize the signs of problem.

Signs of problem gambling:

  • Letting school or work suffer due to preoccupation with gambling
  • Spending more time or money than intended
  • Losing interest in other activities
  • Being criticized by others about gambling behaviour
  • Borrowing, lying or stealing to gamble or pay back debts
  • Increased interest in internet gambling sites, ports results or TV poker
  • Money appearing and disappearing

Learn more

If you would like learn more about YGAP or book a workshop or presentation please contact our Youth Outreach Worker by phone 519-371-9230 or email


Our YGAP Youth Outhreach Worker organized a harm reduction mural project at the Alpha Street complex in Owen Sound this past summer. This was a great project to allow the community to come together and work as a community to brighten up the complex while learning harm reduction strategies as well as healthy choices.