A study performed and undertaken by the Australian Institute of Family Research, has shown that 1 in 6 of sixteen to seventeen year olds regard gambling as a normal pastime in the country.
While a considerable amount of the betting that takes place with sixteen and seventeen year olds is undertaken between friends, the study by the Australian Institute of Family Research ( AIFR ) has shown that a significant amount of wagering has also occurred on illegal formal gambling. With wagering taking place on sports and racing as well as frequenting age restricted establishments, where slots ( pokies ), table games and poker are played.
Speaking about the results, Rebecca Jenkinson, AIFS fellow and manager of the Australian Gambling Research Centre, commented: “This research was the first of its kind, setting a benchmark for future years.”
“It points to the fact that gambling is normalised in this country, and that we need to be doing some work around denormalising it. Around 17 per cent of the young men who reported having spent money on gambling in the past 12 months, and a lower proportion of the young women, were already at risk of some gambling-related harm.”
Furthermore, the researched revealed the influence of family and friends, whereby the proportion of 16 – 17 year olds who gambled went up by 17% in households, where one, or both parents gambled.
A separate study co-authored by a Dr Jenkinson, also found that 23% of bettors gambled before they reached their 18th birthday. With Dr Jenkinson stating: “We think that age verification is obviously really important and strict enforcement of acceptable proof of age, both for wagering sites but also for entry into gaming venues, is really important.”