U.k. Gambling Commission Flags Teenage Gambling Danger

Commission study of 2,411 children at 103 state secondary schools in Engalnd and Wales causes concern

The UK Gambling Commission has voiced concern over the numbers of teenagers who are gambling on a weekly basis, The Telegraph newspaper reports.
A research project which surveyed 2,411 children sampled from 103 state secondary schools in England and Wales suggested that:
* An estimated 450,000 children aged between 11 and 15 could be gambling on a weekly basis;
* Boys are more likely to gamble than girls and will likely wager more than double the amount that girls would;
* 9,000 are likely to be 'problem gamblers', despite 60 percent of those surveyed agreeing that they are aware that gambling can be dangerous;
* The rate of gambling among children has remained relatively static, whilst similar studies for smoking, drugs and alcohol have shown a decline in prevalence;
* Fruit machines are the most popular form of gambling;
* Scratch cards and National Lottery tickets are typically purchased by a parent or guardian for the child, with 8 percent of respondents having gambled in commercial premises in the last week;
* Children finding ways to gamble in commercial areas such as betting shops, bingo halls and arcades, and 3 percent spent their own money to gamble online;
* Some children have used their parent's accounts to gamble, 6 percent doing so with or without parental permission;
* Top motivations for gambling were 'to make money', they 'thought it would be fun and entertaining', and they 'thought it would be exciting';
* 75 per cent of respondents said they saw gambling adverts on TV; 63 percent said they had seen adverts on social media and 57 percent saw the promotion of gambling on other websites;
* Almost one in 10 children followed gambling companies on social media websites such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube;
* 73 percent of children gamble online through apps, up from 64 percent last year;
* Social networking sites was the second most common method of play, with 25 percent of children gambling through Facebook;
In a statement, Gambling Commission executive director Tim Miller commented:
"We're often reminded to discuss the risks of drinking, drugs and smoking with our children.
"However our research shows that children are twice as likely to gamble than do any of those things. We want to reassure parents that our rules require gambling businesses to prevent and tackle underage gambling and we take firm action where young people are not properly protected.
"We recognise that there are some gambling activities in which young people are legally permitted to partake – such as using a crane machine to win a toy, or betting between friends. But we would encourage parents to speak to their children about the risks associated with gambling, so that if they choose to gamble in adulthood, they will do so in a safe and responsible way."
All operators licensed by the Gambling Commission must have policies and procedures in place which promote socially responsible gambling.
To protect children these should include, for example:
* Checking the age of customers who appear to be, or are suspected of being, underage;
* Not deliberately providing facilities for gambling in such a way as to appeal particularly to children and young people, for example by reflecting or being associated with youth culture;
* In premises restricted to adults, refusing service in circumstances where an adult is accompanied by a child or young person.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2016/11/30/450000-children-gambling-every-week-commission-warns/?WT.mc_id=tmg_share_em

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