Youth gambling: An important social policy and public health issue

Abstract

Gambling is typically thought of as an enjoyable adult activity with few negative consequences. Yet, there is a growing body of international research suggesting that youth view gambling as both an enjoyable and exciting form of entertainment. While most youth gamble for money in a responsible manner, establishing and maintaining both time and money limits, an identifiable proportion of these youth get over-involved and experience serious negative gambling-related consequences. Unlike other potentially adolescent risky behaviors, very few prevention programs are available to help raise awareness about this potential problem. The case is made that this is an important social policy issue which needs to be addressed, by parents, educators and legislators.

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