Concern over young people gambling prompts awareness campaign
The Problem Gambling Foundation is launching an online campaign during Gambling Harm Awareness Week, 4 to 10 September, to increase understanding about the risks of gambling among rangatahi/young people and encourage them to test their gambling if they think it could be negatively impacting their lives.
A recent survey revealed that 46 percent of youth aged 16–24 had gambled in the last year and a study into New Zealand secondary school students’ gambling found that one in three had participated in gambling at some point in their lives. Of this subgroup, 11 percent were worried about their own gambling.
Andree Froude, Problem Gambling Foundation Director of Communications, says gambling is becoming more normalised for young people and there is increasing concern worldwide about the crossover of gaming with gambling that has potential to put young people at risk of harmful gambling.
“We are seeing aggressive marketing from online gambling operators on social media platforms, an increase in sports betting promotion for large sporting events such as the TAB being official supporter of the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup, and game developers using gambling mechanisms like loot boxes within popular PC games,” she says.
There is a growing body of research linking loot boxes and a young person’s likelihood of experiencing gambling harm in later life. A recent paper examined loot boxes in 22 games rated as appropriate for audiences 17 years of age or younger. The results revealed that these loot boxes have structural and psychological similarities with gambling and that nearly half (45%) of the games analysed met all five of the psychological criteria to be considered a form of gambling.
The campaign launch will coincide with the start of this year’s Rugby World Cup and aims to educate people on how to block gambling advertisements and promote access to the e-screener “test your gambling” tool.
Andree Froude says the campaign aims to empower young people to make informed decisions and to seek help if they need to.
“It’s also helpful for parents to understand some of the risks associated with gambling and gaming and how it can impact their children,” she says.
To find out more about your gambling, take the test here.
Further information on gaming and loot boxes is available here and on how to block advertisements on YouTube is here.
Free and confidential support is available for anyone impacted by harmful gambling www.pgf.nz
For further information, please contact:
Director Marketing and Communications
Ph: 027 489 4801