30% of NSW Youth Gamble – Many With Parents Help

NSW Youth Gambling

When was the first time that you gambled? Many of us gambled for the first time as kids, and often we probably gambled with the help of our parents. If this sounds like your story, you’re not alone. According to a study from the NSW Office of Responsible Gambling, it appears that 40% of NSW youth are gambling or playing games that act like gambling games

The study looked at the trends in gambling for underaged gamblers, along with how many are showing signs of problem gambling.

Survey Shows 30% of NSW Youth Gamble

A recent study from the NSW Office of Responsible Gambling took a look at the gambling behavior of children. The study primarily focused on behaviors of children aged 12 to 17. Approximately 551 youth were surveyed and several focus groups were held with youths.

According to the survey, approximately 40% of NSW youth are playing games that simulate some form of gambling. These games may include elements such as loot boxes that award prizes by random chance. Other games involve prize wheels that simulate roulette or online pokies.

Also, the study revealed that 30% of NSW youth have gambled with real money in the last year. While underaged gambling is illegal, youth still found a way to do so. The methods varied with some participating in activities like online bingo or lottery games while others participated in underground gambling games like poker.

Over Half of Youth Gamble With a Parent

One would assume that many of these youths were gambling without the approval of their parents. That’s not the case at all. In fact, approximately 54% of all youth surveyed revealed that parents or guardians are giving permission for the youths to gamble. In many instances, they are giving the youth’s money to gamble with. About 20% of those surveyed did so with the aid of grandparents.

NSW Youth Gambling ONline

It seems that gambling is more likely in homes where at least one parent gambles. Approximately 58% of those surveyed revealed that at least one parent gambles. Advertising also seems to play a factor. About 46% of youth surveyed revealed that TV ads brought their attention to gambling products.

Approximately 3.7% of NSW Youth Could Be Problem Gamblers

As expected, this report does show that problem gambling can become a problem for some youth. About 3.7% of those surveyed showed behavior that would classify them as either at-risk or outright problem gamblers. That means about 21 youth surveyed showed signs of problem gambling.

While that number sounds small in the context of the survey, that would be equal to 3,700 out of every 100,000 youth being addicted to gambling. Some feel that loot boxes are the reason behind the addictive behavior.

According to a 2020 study by CQUniversity, games with gambling elements like loot boxes were being played by youth as young as 11. A different study shows that about 1/3rd of youth are spending at least $10 each month on loot boxes.

Loot boxes have come under fire for years now for their gambling-like elements. Some companies like Capcom are denouncing loot boxes and other companies are moving away from them altogether.

Survey Shows a Greater Need to Education and Parental Responsibility

If anything, this survey shows that youth need to be educated about gambling risks. Since it is clear that some parents are not taking the proper responsibility to educate their children, more material needs to be provided to communicate risks.

Also, parents need to be educated and reminded of the risks they are exposing their children to. Gambling in any form can be dangerous to younger minds as they do not have the same tools to deal with the emotional highs and lows. They don’t have the same judgment as adults to know when to stop. Parents need to take responsibility to protect kids now. Gambling should be reserved for adults, not be used as an activity to pacify or entertain youth.