New GambleAware report highlights link between gambling harms and youth

The report showed that 64% of those suffering gambling-related harm were exposed to gambling at a young age via knowing somebody that gambled as a child.

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A new report by GambleAware has highlighted the link between early gambling exposure and gambling-related harms in later life.

The research has shown that 64% of adults that suffer some form of gambling harm knew somebody that engaged in gambling as a child. The statistic is also made worse by the report finding that 33% of adults currently suffering gambling harms are not accessing treatment, with the stigma attached proving to be a significant barrier.

Meanwhile, the relapse rate for those currently experiencing significant gaming harms stands at 87%, despite their best efforts to stop.

The survey was comprised of 18,000 adults and 6% of people said they were exposed to the practice before the age of 5, while 28% said it happened between 6 and 11-years-old. Additionally, the report highlighted that 22% of people surveyed had gambled before the age of 18, with 16% starting between 12 and 17.

Those that participated in the research ‘expressed concern over the amount of gambling advertisement on TV and mobile apps,’ finding that it was difficult to restrict or prevent children from exposure due to its ‘always on nature.’

Zoë Osmond, Chief Executive of GambleAware, said of the report: “We are concerned about the normalisation of gambling across society, with this year’s report clearly highlighting a potential link between early exposure and harms in later life, as well as a worry by parents who feel unable to shield their children from the plethora of advertising and marketing.

“It is also important to end the stigma associated with gambling, which is acting as a key barrier to those wanting advice and support. We encourage people to come forward and open up the conversation about gambling to put an end to stigma and ensure people get the help they need.”

Finally, Kate Gosschalk, Research Manager, YouGov, added: “We are pleased to share the findings from the fourth annual treatment and support survey. This year, the research – which included a substantial online survey of 18,000 people and 30 in-depth telephone interviews - explored new areas including when people were first exposed to gambling and the effect gambling has on children.”

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