Cookies on the Gambling Commission website

The Gambling Commission website uses cookies to make the site work better for you. Some of these cookies are essential to how the site functions and others are optional. Optional cookies help us remember your settings, measure your use of the site and personalise how we communicate with you. Any data collected is anonymised and we do not set optional cookies unless you consent.

Set cookie preferences

You've accepted all cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time.

Skip to main content


Young People and Gambling 2023

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


Setting gambling in the context of other risk-taking behaviours

To set the findings for gambling participation in context, young people were asked about their involvement in other potentially harmful activities, such as drinking, drug-taking and smoking.

Over the last 12 months, young people were more likely to have drunk alcohol than participated in other risk-taking behaviours, as shown in Figure 21. While this is closely followed by 40 percent of young people who have experienced gambling, fewer participants had spent their own money on gambling (26 percent). Two in five young people (42 percent) have drunk an alcoholic drink in the last twelve months; two in five young people have gambled (40 percent), one in five (20 percent) used an e-cigarette or vaped, 9 percent smoked a tobacco cigarette and 9 percent took an illegal drug.

In 2022, young people were mostly likely to have experienced some form of gambling activity than any other risk-taking behaviours (decrease by 10 percentage points from 50 percent). While drinking alcohol is now the most common risk-taking behaviour, it has only seen a 1 percent increase compared to 2022 (41 percent).

Figure 21: Participation in risk-taking behaviours in past 12 months

A bar chart showing participation in risk-taking behaviours in the past 12 months. Data from the chart is provided within the following table.

Figure 21 information

GC_GAMSPEND. When did you last do this activity? Was it...? Summary of gambling in the last 7 days, 4 weeks or 12 months
Base: All 11 to 17 year olds (3,453)
GC_ACTIVITY. Please look at the list below and for each activity, select when, if ever, you have done this.
Base: All 11 to 17 year olds answering who have taken illegal drugs (2,662), drunk alcoholic drink (2,622), smoked tobacco cigarette (2,665), used an e-cigarette and/or vape (2,637).
Note: Charts shows multiple questions, so responses will not sum to 100 percent.

Across all risk-taking behaviours the participation rate was higher for the older age groups, which is not unexpected as young people approach the legal age for some of these activities. However, there are notably higher levels of participation in some risk-taking behaviours among young people who have gambled with their own money in the week prior to taking part in the research. Over two thirds (67 percent) drank an alcoholic drink, 39 percent used an e-cigarette or vaped, 27 percent smoked a cigarette and 20 percent tried an illegal drug.

Figure 21: Participation in risk-taking behaviours in past 12 months
Participation in risk-taking behaviours in past 12 months Percentage (answers do not sum to 100 percent)
Drunk an alcoholic drink 42%
Had an experience in gambling 40%
Been actively involved in gambling 26%
Used an e-cigarette and/or vape 20%
Smoked a tobacco cigarette 9%
Taken illegal drugs (including cannabis) 8%
Previous section
Next section
Setting gambling in the context of other activities
Is this page useful?
Back to top