Article by Travis Radford
The director of the ANU Centre for Gambling Research has labelled initial observations from a study into the gambling habits of young Canberrans as “pretty concerning”.
Dr Aino Suomi said most of the young people surveyed so far had started gambling while underage.
“Some of these young adults, they started when they were 10, 11, 12 [or] 13,” she said.
The study hopes to learn more about young Canberrans’ pathways to gambling and key areas where public health initiatives or government policies could prevent gambling harm.
Although considerable research has been conducted into young people and gambling behaviours, no others have looked at an ACT-specific context, and few had been conducted post-pandemic.
Dr Suomi observed that young people are being exposed to gambling advertising on a variety of digital platforms. In addition to traditional sports betting advertising, a more “covert” social media method came to light during the interviews.
“You might jump on YouTube and watch other people streaming [and] they’re gambling and spending huge amounts of money,” she explained.
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