What influences young people’s gambling habits?

What influences young people’s gambling habits?


My name is Alan Emond, I’m Emeritus Professor of Child Health at the University of Bristol and I’ve been involved with Children of
the 90s since the very very beginning. The first thing I’d like to say is thank
you very much for participating in this gambling study. We had over 4,000 participants complete
the gambling questions at each age and that’s been really useful because we’ve been able to look at changes over time The findings are that we’ve shown a transition between 17 and 24 in gambling habits and, as you might imagine, gambling frequency goes up over that time Over this eight-year period when we were doing this study most of the gambling
activity remained fairly static but there’s one activity which increased, and that was gambling online I think that reflects the general increase in use of online activities, the wider availability of smartphones and so on I think the surprising thing is that
for the people who have problems with gambling only a small minority, six to seven per cent,
is that their gambling habits were established very early There was very little change from the age of 20 onwards, so people who are regular gamblers who are getting into problems with gambling, their habits are pretty much established by the age of 20 There’s a very strong male dominance in this group and it’s associated with other risk-tasking behaviours, with alcohol and drugs, and also with low mood, and low well-being So I think for a minority of young people, gambling is associated with other issues The findings are coming out at a very
opportune time, because there’s recently been a House of Lords Select Committee
on gambling-related harms and I contributed the results of the Children of the 90s as evidence There’s a big review going on at the moment about
how to protect vulnerable
young people from gambling-related harms I think this evidence is going to help that
discussion I personally think there needs to be more education in schools about gambling, about risk taking about the odds of winning on the lottery, or playing a game, so that people can make a more informed choice There’s nothing wrong with gambling – it’s a lot of fun, and a lot of people do it without any harm but there’s a small minority of
people, mainly young men, who are vulnerable and are increasingly getting hooked in by
online gambling Now online gambling is at the moment not very well regulated You only have to watch a football match to see all the football players are wearing shirts with gambling companies on In the half-time interval, the adverts are for gambling, and people put the odds so you can bet in game All of this I think needs to be better regulated because vulnerable people are getting hooked in to compulsively putting on bets, using a credit card, and that needs to be better regulated I think there are policy implications, regulation
implications, and educational implications

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