Research claims almost one in three teenagers in New South Wales (NSW) has illegally gambled in the past year.
According to a study conducted by NSW Government’s Office of Responsible Gambling, 30% of teenagers have gambled in the past year, over half of which did so in the company of their parents or relatives.
However, it is important to note the small sample size of the survey, a similar situation to a Gambling Commission report published in Great Britain in 2019.
Over 2,200 children between the ages of 12 and 17 took part in the survey, with researchers determining that most on average started the habit aged 11, and that 4% were problem or at-risk gamblers.
A total of 54% of participants said they gambled in the presence of a parent or guardian, with 20% saying they gambled in the company of grandparents, and 20% in the company of other relatives over the age of 18. Around 9% claimed they gambled alone.
The research also found that 40% of children participated in simulated gambling through video games such as Grand Theft Auto.
Those under the age of 18 were found to be more likely to be problem or at-risk gamblers if adults in their household gambled with them or indeed had gambling problems themselves.
“Underage gambling is illegal but significantly 21% of participants reported partaking in gambling including lotteries, scratchies, keno, and sports and race betting,” said Office of Responsible Gambling director Natalie Wright.
“The study found parents were the strongest influence on youth gambling, so we need to educate adults as well as young people.”