Adolescent machine gambling and crime

Abstract

There is growing evidence that children and adolescents who gamble excessively on fruit machines may engage themselves in stealing and commit other criminal offences to fund their habit yet there has been little evidence from the legal professions themselves. The aim of the survey conducted was to see if there was any relationship between criminal activity (most notably theft) and gaming machine use. During a 1-year period, police officers in Plymouth (South West England) collected information from 1851 juvenile offenders with whom they came into contact. The results revealed approximately 4% of juvenile crime was associated with gaming machine use and the survey offers evidence that a minority of individuals commit crimes in order to supplement their fruit machine playing.

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