Young men more likely to be problem gamblers than young women

Gambling Research Australia commissioned study Gambling and Young People in Australia reveals that males (5.7per cent) are more likely to be problem gamblers than females (3.2per cent).

Meanwhile 19.1per cent of males are also more likely to be at-risk gamblers compared to females (13.9per cent). Indigenous young people were 6.4 times more likely to be problem gamblers than non-Indigenous. The Indigenous young people represented 4.4per cent of the total sample. The proportion of Indigenous young people who are estimated to be problem gamblers is similar to the proportion of adult Indigenous population who are problem gamblers.

The target study population was 5,900 young people aged 10 to 24 years of age who were at school, post-school education, employed, unemployed and drawn from a range of urban, regional and remote locations.

The study used the DSM-IV-MR-J (produced specifically for juveniles) screen to classify young people according to gambling status.

Overall, 23per cent of young people (aged 10 to 24) did not gamble in the 12 months prior to the study. Of the 77per cent of young people who did take part in a gambling activity at least once in those 12 months:

  • 56 per cent were classified as social gamblers
  • 16 per cent were classified as at-risk
  • five per cent were classified as problem gamblers.

All young people, irrespective of their gambling behaviour reported alcohol as the most frequent risky behaviour; however, a relatively greater proportion of problem gamblers also reported involvement in other risky activities such as graffiti, travelling on public transport without a ticket, smoking cigarettes, trespassing, using illegal drugs, fighting and theft.

Interestingly, 42 per cent of problem gamblers reported using public transport without a ticket, exceeding illegal drug use at 37 per cent.

The Gambling and Young People in Australia study was undertaken by the Australian Council for Education Research Ltd.

The full report can be found here.

25.01.12