The legal age for gambling in Australia is 18 but young Australians are still exposed to and participating in different forms of gambling. Gambling is also changing with technologies emerging in areas where young people are already highly engaged.
If you are worried about your gambling or someone else’s gambling, the free, confidential Gamblers Help services are available for all ages.
Local, national, and international research is continuing to study how young people interact with gambling. Some of the main questions these studies have tried to answer include:
- how popular is gambling with young people?
- what types of gambling do young people participate in?
- does gambling at a younger age increase problem gambling risk?
- what impact does exposure to gambling advertising have on young people?
- how does adult gambling around young people affect their gambling habits?
Building an understanding of these and other factors is important to improving our messages and resources for young people. It also gives us a platform from which we can work with schools, parents and caregivers, and support providers to work towards reducing gambling harm for young Tasmanians.
What are we doing?
The Tasmanian Government’s Gambling Support Program engaged the Youth Network of Tasmania (YNOT) to consult with young Tasmanians on their gambling attitudes and experiences.
While there is local and international research available around young people and gambling, this report is an important step in making sure that Tasmanian-specific views and needs are considered.
Along with relevant research and programs in other states and territories, this consultation will be used to develop future campaigns and resources in the young people and gambling space. And importantly, young voices will directly contribute to what is developed and inform the ways government will engage with young Tasmanians on gambling issues.
The consultation report was completed in July 2022 and is available from the Gambling Support Program Tasmanian Research page.
What do other States and Territories do?
Some of the young people focused gambling programs and resources currently in use in other states and territories include:
- New South Wales: Gamble Aware teacher and youth worker resources
- Victoria: School Education Program
- South Australia: Unplugged gaming and gambling program
Where can I find out more about young people and gambling?
The Tasmanian Young People and Gambling report is still in the consultation phase. However, great youth gambling research has been completed in other places.
Responsible Gambling Victoria’s Gen Bet (2021) is a summary of research into gambling and young people which looks at why young people gamble, the types of gambling commonly used by young people and the harms caused by gambling. Key findings include:
- Although gambling marketing has received considerable attention, the most influential exposure to gambling occurs when young people see family and friends doing it.
- The number of young people who participate in gambling is difficult to quantify but may be declining.
- Only a small number of young people that do gamble, gamble regularly.
- Boys are more likely to gamble than girls.
NSW Gamble Aware’s Youth Gambling Study (2020) reviewed research and consulted with NSW secondary school students around gambling and simulated gambling. Key findings include:
- Around 30 per cent of young people had participated in gambling in the last year and around 40 per cent had played games with gambling components.
- Parents were the strongest influence on youth gambling.
- Young people were more likely to have gambled in the past year if they’d gambled with their parents during childhood and had parents who approved of gambling.