A research conducted by the New South Wales Office of Responsible Gambling has found that almost 30 percent of young people have been involved in illicit gambling in the past year.
Via focus groups and an online survey of 2,200 individuals, the NSW Youth Gambling Study 2020 studied the gambling perceptions and behaviours of young people aged 12-17 from March 28 to May 11, 2020.
Of those participants, noting that the “main limitation was the smaller than expected sample attained from the letterbox drop,” young people were found to have begun virtual gambling and monetary gambling at 11-12 years on average.
In the previous year, 29.8 percent reported involvement in monetary gambling and 40.1 percent reported having played a gambling-like aspect of a video game or app, with 46.1 percent noticing weekly gambling ads on TV during sports and racing events.
Parents gambling influencing youth
Parents were said to be the biggest influence on youth gambling, with youth being more likely to have gambled in the past year if parents had done so with them or if adult gambling in the household was an issue while growing up.
Parents/guardians (53.7 percent) were typically interested in gambling, followed by friends aged 17 or younger (26.8 percent), relatives aged 18 or over (20.7 percent), relatives under 18 (20.1 percent), and grandparents (20.1 percent) (19.5 per cent). It was found that very few (9.1 percent) had gambled alone.
Relatively few young people gamble alone
Natalie Wright, The director of the Responsible Gambling Office, Natalie Wright explained: “The research showed relatively few young people gambled alone with gambling usually happening with a parent or another adult relative.
“Underage gambling is illegal but significantly 21 per cent of participants reported partaking in gambling including lotteries, scratchies, keno, and sports and race betting.”
The NSW Office of Responsible Gambling will establish various education strategies for parents, including online tools, based on the results of the study.