Real life stories

Unmasking the Dark Side of Youth Gambling: Voices from the Frontlines

24 November 2023
Let's talk real about a pressing issue that's hitting close to home—youth and gambling harm.
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Regulation in this country is behind the eight-ball”

Young Adults Taking Big Risks

According to recent research reported by The Guardian in the UK, nearly half of gamblers aged 18 to 24 admit to risking more than they can afford to lose. Shocking, right? Some even borrowed money or sold possessions to fuel their bets.

"Anyone can be impacted by gambling harms, but the first step is to open up and have that first conversation, ideally as early as possible." — Zoë Osmond, CEO of GambleAware

Online Gambling Creeping into Schools

Here in New Zealand, things are taking a concerning turn. Secondary school students are diving into online gambling during school hours, accessing offshore sites through their phones. The New Zealand Herald reports a former student's struggle after getting hooked during the 2020 COVID lockdown.

"Regulation in this country is behind the eight-ball." — Andree Froude, Problem Gambling Foundation

Teens Struggling with Gambling Harm

Korea is fighting its own battle with gambling harm. The Korea Times shares stories of teens getting involved in casino games like baccarat, leading to a surge in counselling demand. The struggle is real, and the government is stepping in to tackle illegal betting sites targeting youth.

"Our society lacks a system that links the teens in question from schools and youth welfare centers to psychiatric health institutions." — Lee Hae-kook, Professor of Medicine at the Catholic University of Korea.

Kids and Teens Easily Addicted

In the U.S., it's not just adults hitting the online casinos. 11Alive reports a surge in kids aged 13 to 17 trying their luck. With influencers promoting gambling apps on platforms like TikTok, age verification becomes a joke, and kids admit to circumventing it easily.

"The calls are coming in like crazy from parents of young kids that are getting addicted to gambling." — Arnie Wexler, recovering addict

What Can We Do?

As bad as it sounds, it’s not all doom and gloom. We can be part of the solution: by talking openly about gambling harm and support those who are at risk to take our test – it’s free and confidential.

"The forms of gambling or gaming that are online are so much easier to get access to, easier to hide from your parents." — Dr. Adam Goodie, University of Georgia

For more advice on how to keep yourself safe while gambling online, click here.

The calls are coming in like crazy from parents of young kids that are getting addicted to gambling.”