Young People and Gambling 2022
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About this statistical release
This publication provides information about young people’s exposure to, and involvement in gambling, including prevalence of problem gambling. It also includes statistics about regulated forms and unregulated forms of gambling.
The findings are taken from the annual Young People and Gambling Survey, conducted in 2022 by Ipsos on behalf of the Gambling Commission.
These results are based on a sample of 2,559 pupils aged 11 to 16 years old across curriculum years 7 to 11 (S1 – S5 in Scotland) using the Ipsos Young People Omnibus. Pupils completed an online self-completion survey in class. Fieldwork took place between 14 March and 1 July 2022.
The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent school closures in 2020 and 2021 meant that the Young People and Gambling survey couldn’t go ahead as usual. However, this provided us with an opportunity to reflect on the way we carry out our research with young people and to put in place improvements for the future. The development work we carried out made a number of recommendations to change the questionnaire where responses indicated that questions were not well understood or were at the risk of becoming outdated.
This means this release will form a benchmark against which future waves of research can be measured. The findings are not directly comparable with previous releases. More information about the survey improvements can be found in the supporting blog post 2022 Young People and Gambling Report – survey improvements explained.
31 percent of 11 to 16 year olds spent their own money on any gambling activity in the twelve months prior to taking part in the survey.
During that period, the most common types of gambling activity that young people spent their own money on were legal or did not feature age restricted products, namely:
- playing arcade gaming machines such as penny pusher or claw grab machines (22 percent)
- placing a bet for money between friends or family (15 percent)
- playing cards with friends or family for money (5 percent).
23 percent of young people spent their own money on regulated forms of gambling.
The youth-adapted problem gambling screen (DSM-IV-MR-J1) identified 0.9 percent of 11 to 16 year olds as problem gamblers, 2.4 percent as at risk gamblers and 27.3 percent as non-problem gamblers.
Most (78 percent) young people who spent their own money gambling in the last 12 months, did so because they regard it as a fun thing to do. Whilst one in five (21 percent) agree that gambling makes them feel happy, more (29 percent) disagreed that it made them happy and the same proportion (29 percent) were unsure either way.
Three in ten (28 percent) young people had seen family members they live with gamble, of which 7 percent indicated it had resulted in arguments or tension at home. However, one in ten (11 percent) said that gambling by a family member had helped to pay for things at home for example holidays, trips or clubs.