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Young People and Gambling report published

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Young People and Gambling report published 21st November 2018

The 2018 Young People and Gambling report has been published showing that 1.7% of 11-16 year olds are classified as ‘problem’ gamblers, 2.2% as ‘at risk’.

The report reveals that gambling participation by 11 to 16 year olds has increased in the last 12 months but remains lower compared to all previous years. However, the research indicated that more children are at risk of being harmed by gambling.

The report identifies the most common gambling activities that children are engaging in are often outside of the Gambling Commission's direct regulatory control - such as bets between friends, lottery scratch cards purchased by parents and playing of fruit machines in pubs. It highlights the need for a more collaborative proactive approach to protect young people.

The report also found that:

•    14% of 11-16 year olds had spent their own money on gambling in the past week, this is up from 12% in 2017 but still lower than rates seen prior to 2017
•    This compared to 13% who had drunk alcohol in the past week, 4% who had smoked cigarettes and 2% who had taken illegal drugs
•    The principal forms of gambling in the past week are placing a private bet for money with friends (6%), National Lottery scratchcards (4%), fruit/slot machines (3%) and playing cards for money with friends (3%)
•    Young people who have gambled in the past week spent an average of £16 on gambling during this period
•    Over the past 12 months, 39% of 11-16 year olds have spent their own money on gambling
•    6% have gambled online using a parent or guardian’s account
•    31% have ever opened loot boxes in a computer game or app, to try to acquire in-game items, while 3% claim to have ever bet with in-game items (so called ‘skins’ gambling)
•    59% agree that gambling is dangerous and only 14% agree that it is OK for someone their age to gamble

Tim Miller, Executive Director at the Gambling Commission, said: “Protecting children from the harms that can come from gambling remains one of our highest priorities. In the areas we have regulatory control, we continue to strengthen the protections in place to prevent underage gambling, such as our recent proposals for enhanced age verifications checks for online gambling.”

“But regulation alone cannot address all of the risks that young people may face from gambling. Our latest research shows that the most common forms of gambling by children do not happen in gambling premises. Some of these are legal, such as bets between friends; some of these are unlawful, such as gambling on machines in pubs. But all of them present risks to young people as there is no form of gambling that is risk-free. It is therefore vital that all those with a part to play in protecting children and young people - parents, businesses and regulators - work together.”

Source: Gambling Commission

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