Is Problem Gambling Among Young People on the Rise?
Is the high price of a college education creating a new generation problem gamblers? That’s one of the conclusions of a new study on the gambling habits of British students from the British Gambling Prevalence Survey.
According the study, easy access to gambling via the web and mobile devices; combined with a steady rise in student fees; has led more and more young people down the path to problem gambling. That number could be as high as .9 percent of the country’s 16-24-year-olds, or as many as 67,500 people.
In an article titled, Young People and Students Turning to Gambling to Solve Problems, author Craig Talbot suggests the true number of problem gamblers young than 24 may be as high as 127,500. While the article points out that the percentage of UK residents, young and old, impacted by gambling is around 73 percent, the impact on younger players can be much more severe. Young people are fare less likely to seek help than older problem gamblers.
In the article James Mclarin of Gamcare, a UK based service for problem gamblers, points out that students may begin gambling in a casual environment and quickly move on to something more serious. What starts out as bid to pay tuition through cards or betting can end up with long term financial consequences.
“More awareness is needed as it is easy for students to fall into addiction with their bets eventually becoming bigger and bigger with more money being spent.”
What’s the latest on the efforts to bring legal online poker to the United States? Check out, Online Poker in the US: States to Watch.
What it Means for Gambling Affiliates
Studies like this may seem like little more than a thorn in the side of the gaming industry, but they can seriously influence lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic. In the US, efforts to legalize online poker and sports betting are often hamstrung by concerns about youth gambling. In Europe, governments often cite access to online gaming by minors as an excuse for keeping gaming monopolies in the hands of governments.
With the increasing prevalence of mobile gaming apps, affiliates can probably expect this issue to rear up more and more. It’s a serious issue that could have a major impact on whether legalization efforts are successful or not.
Do you think the issues of youth gambling will impact legalization efforts in the US and Europe? Let us know on our Online Gambling Laws & Regulations Forum.