UK Gambling Commission extends knowledge of underage gambling

The UK Gambling Commission continues to extend the study and knowledge of gambling, and recently commissioned a literature review on children and young people gambling, which was undertaken by Professor Gill Valentine from the University of Leeds.

The intention of the review is to provide the Gambling Commission with a solid evidence base to strengthen its understanding of the impact of gambling on children. The review also identifies gaps in literature and where appropriate provides recommendations for further research.

Main findings established by Professor Valentine were:

* A high proportion of children and young people gamble. When compared to adults, a significantly higher proportion of children and young people are either problem gamblers or at risk of becoming problem gamblers.

* Whilst accessibility to gambling opportunities appears to correlate with participation, attempts by regulatory means to restrict access can only be at best partially successful because young people find ways around them, including with the help of their parents.

* The research highlights the potential usefulness of a public health model (incorporating prevention, education and harm reduction) when tackling gambling by children and young people. This is an area where Great Britain appears to be less developed than other jurisdictions and is currently being considered by the Review of Gambling Research, Education and Treatment.

The literature review makes a number of recommendations for further research, which include the need to explore parental attitudes towards underage gambling.

Readers can view the fiull report at: http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/UploadDocs/publications/Document/LitReviewChildrenYoungPeople.PDF

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