Study Reveals Gambling Problem on the Rise in Adolescents

June 11, 2011

A recent study by Dr. Jeffery Derevensky, director of the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors located at McGill University in Montreal shows that problem gambling is most closely associated with younger men.

The study shows that 8% of participating adolescents between 14 and 17 years of age were at risk for developing gambling disorders, and almost 5% were already considered to be gambling addicts.

Additional research shows that one of every 100 Canadians and one of every 100 Americans are compulsive gamblers and are at high risk to suffer from substance abuse. In the UK, online gambling activity (poker, sports betting, and casino) has risen 42% over the last year with little age group or gender distinction.

Dr. Derevensky also found that about 6% of adolescent males took part in one form or another of online gambling during 2010. Furthermore he predicts that this number will increase significantly, especially as smart phone technology becomes more and more common among young people.

Negative outcomes associated with adolescent gambling disorders include family quarrels, behavioral difficulties, and substance abuse problems, as well as financial troubles—many of the same problems adults face who suffer from gambling addicition.

Derevensky warns parents to be aware of online activities among children and encourages them to discuss online gambling related issues with teens and even check credit card statements to make sure teens aren’t gambling online.


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