Canadian Youth Online Gambling Study Facts Revealed

Published Wednesday, March 30, 2016 -
Canadian Youth Online Gambling Study Facts Revealed

Whenever online gambling is talked about there are contravening opinions on the industry and its impact on society. Some critics link the pastime to all sorts of issues blaming the internet availability on addiction and loss of judgement. The academic institutions are doing all they can to stay abreast of the latest developments in entertainment trends with surveys and studies that sort out fact from fiction.

Information has been revealed in a recent study to examine online and land-based gambling behaviour among adolescents in three Canadian provinces, Ontario, Newfoundland - Labrador, and Saskatchewan. It was done prior to the implementation of legalized government controlled online gambling and it has shed some light on the industry’s impact. A questionnaire was part of the Canadian Youth Smoking Survey YSS, 2012 called the Youth Gambling Survey (YGS) supplement it was administered to 10,035 students who responded in grades 9 to 12.

Most recent prevalence data from Ontario found that in 2013, 35 % of youth reported gambling at least once in the past 12 months. Approximately 3.1 % of youth had participated in online gambling over the previous 12 months. Very little information is known about the prevalence of youth gambling in Newfoundland and Labrador at any time point.

The participation in online gambling is more prevalent among males and the most common form of online gambling was online sports pools. The report also revealed problem gambling prevalence by online compared to land based gambling participation. A significantly higher proportion of adolescents were classified as “high” or “low to moderate risk” for problem gambling compared to adolescents who exclusively participated in land-based gambling. Among online gamblers, 17.4 % scored “high” and 18.2 % scored “low to moderate” in gambling severity whereas 1.2 % of land-based only gamblers scored “high” and 7.2 % scored “low to moderate”.  

Free simulated games are also a concern for researchers who are studying the impact on youth when it comes to online gambling for real money.

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