New research looks at youth gambling
A study commissioned by the NSW Office of Responsible Gambling has found almost 30 per cent of young people surveyed had gambled in the past year.
The NSW Youth Gambling Study 2020 investigated the gambling attitudes and behaviours of young people aged 12-17 through focus groups and an online survey of over 2,200 people.
Director of the Office of Responsible Gambling, Natalie Wright, said in the past year 29.8 per cent of participants had gambled, with informal private betting the most common, followed by scratchies and lotteries.
“The research showed relatively few young people gambled alone with gambling usually happening with a parent or another adult relative,” Ms Wright said.
“Underage gambling is illegal but significantly 21 per cent of participants reported partaking in gambling including lotteries, scratchies, keno, and sports and race betting.”
Technological changes are also driving changes in youth gambling with around 40 per cent of all young people in the study having played a video game or app with a gambling-like component.
“These games which mimic real gambling are potentially gateways to traditional gambling for young people,” Ms Wright said.
Acting on the report’s findings, the Office will develop multiple education strategies for parents including online resources.
“The study found parents were the strongest influence on youth gambling, so we need to educate adults as well as young people,” Ms Wright said.
To help young people’s awareness of the risks of gambling, the Office is developing resources for teachers and partnering with sporting teams via the Reclaim the Game initiative to help educate people around sports betting promotion.
“The Reclaim the Game initiative sees the Office partner with professional sports to help provide a matchday experience free of sports betting advertising and sponsorship,” Ms Wright said.
These initiatives are in conjunction with the NSW Government’s wider commitment to ensuring harm minimisation is a key part of gambling reform with proposed new laws to enhance the current self-exclusion scheme and to provide additional support to gaming machine players being considered.
The full The NSW Youth Gambling Study 2020, fact sheets and a summary report can be viewed here: https://www.responsiblegambling.nsw.gov.au/research2/research/nsw-youth-gambling-study-2020