The rapid increase in the change of the gambling landscape due to the advent of the online platform could spell doom for many teenagers as researchers have found that adolescents are gambling online at a significantly higher rate than previously reported.
The author of the study Tara Elton-Marshall, scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) said “A substantially high proportion of young people are gambling in general, and mostly in unregulated forms, like in a dare or a game of pool, which are accessible to youth, The high proportion of teens who are gambling in any form is concerning because there is research to suggest that the earlier people start to gamble, the more likely it is to be an issue later on,”
In the past three months nearly 10 per cent of teenagers in the three Canadian provinces said they had gambled online. It is the first Canadian-based study to find such high levels of online gambling among youth.
42 per cent reported that they had gambled money or something of value in online gambling. Among these adolescents, 36 percent had a score indicating a potential gambling problem on a scale measuring problem gambling, versus eight percent among offline-only gamblers.
Problem gambling severity scores were calculated based on responses to nine questions, such as how often teenagers missed activities such as team sports or band due to gambling/betting. Most adolescents participating in many forms of gambling, with the exception of gambling on lottery tickets and instant-win or scratch tickets, were not of legal age to gamble.