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Young People and Gambling 2023

Gambling Commission report produced by Ipsos on young people and their gambling behaviour, attitudes and awareness in 2023.


Presentation and interpretation of data

When interpreting the findings, it is important to remember that results are based on a sample of the maintained and independent school population, and not the entire population of 11 to 17 year olds in England, Scotland, and Wales. The survey data reported here has been weighted to ensure the findings are nationally representative of young people at secondary schools in England, Scotland and Wales (see Appendices of this report) for more detail on weighting). Applying weights to the data, while tending to make the quoted figures more representative of the population of interest, also reduces the statistical reliability of the data. Results from any survey are estimates, and there is a margin of error associated with each figure quoted. Essentially, the smaller the sample size, the greater the uncertainty.

Throughout this report, unless specified, findings with sufficient sample sizes have been included and all differences noted between subgroups are significant at the 95 percent significance level. A guide to statistical significance is included in the Appendices of this report.

Key terms used in the report

Prior to 2022, young people were asked one question to find out whether they had used their own money to gamble and when they had done so. The development work that took place before the 2022 survey noted that it was cognitively challenging for young people to remember the types of gambling activities they had participated in whilst keeping in mind if, and when, they had spent their own money on these activities.

Taking on board recommendations relating to the questionnaire design, meant that a different approach was adopted in 2022, with three questions included in order to understand, firstly, whether a young person had any experience of gambling, secondly, if they had ever gambled using their own money and thirdly, when they did so. As a result, we have two possible ways of interpreting gambling behaviour which are referenced throughout this report:

Active involvement in gambling – Young people who spent their own money (defined as any pocket money, birthday money or money they earned themselves) in the last 12 months on gambling.

Experience of gambling – Young people who have gambled, but not necessarily spending their own money on doing so.

The Gambling Commission regulates gambling operators and key individuals. Regulation is designed to ensure children and young people are unable to gamble on age-restricted products licensed by the Gambling Commission. In addition to products licensed by the Gambling Commission, this report also covers a number of gambling activities which sit outside the Gambling Commission’s remit and are legally available to children and young people. In order to distinguish between these different types of gambling we refer in this report to Regulated and Unregulated forms of gambling:

Regulated forms of gambling – Those gambling activities which are licensed and regulated by the Gambling Commission including betting or casino gaming provided by a licensed operator online or from premises, playing the National Lottery or other lottery products. This categorisation also includes playing gaming machines in betting shops, bingo premises, casinos or arcades. Due to different categories and requirements relating to gaming machines this report may include some gaming machine play which is not directly regulated by the Gambling Commission and in some incidences can be legally played by children and young people.

Unregulated forms of gambling – Those gambling activities which fall outside the remit of the Gambling Commission such as non-commercial gambling between friends and family or playing bingo somewhere other than a bingo club.

For further information on terms used throughout this report and their definitions see Appendices of this report.

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