Gambling, youth and the internet: Should we be concerned?

Abstract

INTRODUCTION The recent growth of gambling problems among youth around the world is alarming. Researchers, clinicians, educators and the public have only begun to recognize the significance of this risky adolescent behaviour. With the continuous rise in gambling technology and the expansion of the gambling industry, more gambling opportunities exist today than ever before. METHOD The literature on gambling and youth was reviewed. RESULTS Given the greater accessibility, availability, and promotion of gambling, more and more youth have become attracted to the perceived excitement, entertainment, and financial freedom associated with gambling. While Internet gambling is a recent phenomenon that remains to be explored, the potential for future problems among youth is high, especially among a generation of young people who have grown up with videogames, computers, and the Internet. CONCLUSION Our current knowledge and understanding of the seriousness of gambling problems, its magnitude, and its impact on the health and well-being of children and youth compels us to respond to these new forms of gambling in a timely and effective manner.

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