Young People and Gambling 2023
- Executive summary
- Young people’s active involvement in gambling
- Experience of gambling
- The Impact of gambling on young people
- Online gambling
- National Lottery play
- Games and gaming machines
- The Context for gambling participation
- Attitudes towards and exposure to gambling
- List of gambling activities and definitions
This section of the report examines the impacts experienced by young people as a result of their own or someone else’s gambling. This is the second time the data has been collected following a pilot study in 2019 entitled Measuring gambling-related harms among children and young people: A framework for action (opens in new tab) and an initial data collection in 2022 in the Young People and Gambling report 2022. We will continue to develop our use of this data to build a fuller understanding of the impact of gambling on young people, particularly the extent and severity of gambling-related harms that they may experience. This development work will include analysing the data for young people defined as problem gamblers, which has been excluded from the current report due to the low base sizes.
Throughout this section we make comparisons to 2022 data. However, it should be noted that while the 2023 sample included year 12 pupils and independent schools, these were not included in the 2022 sample and therefore any differences between the two years are indicative only.
One in ten (10 percent) young people said that their own gambling had led them to talk to their parents about how they felt, either sometimes, often, or all of the time. A similar proportion (6 percent) stated that it had made them feel uncomfortable around their friends (such as feeling embarrassed, or feeling friends would not approve).
For the vast majority, gambling does not lead to feelings of guilt or sadness. However, they are less clear on whether gambling makes them feel happy; just under one in five (17 percent) agree, but three in ten (29 percent) disagree and a similar proportion (26 percent) are unsure either way.
Only a minority of young people who spent their own money on gambling said that it helped to buy the things that they needed (10 percent) at least some of the time, but fewer still said that it stopped them buying the things that they wanted (5 percent) at least some of the time. Just 3 percent stated that their own gambling made it hard for them to put effort into their schoolwork, homework, or personal studies.
Across the last 12 months, 3 percent of young people who were actively involved in gambling had lost sleep at night at least some of the time because gambling meant that they went to bed late. While 4 percent lost sleep at least some of the time because they were worried about a family member or someone that is responsible for them gambling.
Almost three in ten (28 percent) young people had ever seen the family members they lived with gamble. The most common impact being that it helped to pay for things or activities for example holidays, trips, clubs (mentioned by 12 percent). However, one in ten of those who had seen family members gamble felt that at some point it had resulted in arguments or tension at home (10 percent) or that it had impacted on the time parents or guardians had to spend with them (7 percent). A smaller proportion of those who had seen family members gamble stated that it had impacted on the availability of food at home or money on their school canteen card or account (3 percent).
There were some interesting contrasts by gender, with boys more likely than girls to feel guilty when they gamble and more likely to have seen family members gamble. Girls were less likely than boys to say that they worried about their gambling.
How gambling impacts on relations with friends and family
Last updated: 16 November 2023
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