A recent study commissioned by YouGov for GambleAware has shed light on the impact of exposure to gambling at a young age. The study, which involved interviews with 18,000 participants, aimed to understand how the gambling habits of people around them during their formative years affected their own behaviors.
The findings of the study showed that individuals who experienced significant harm from gambling were more likely to have been exposed to gambling during their youth. In fact, 64% of respondents who were classified as “experiencing significant harm” stated that they knew someone who gambled when they were under the age of 18. On the other hand, only 25% of respondents who did not have gambling issues reported knowing someone who gambled before they turned 18.
Furthermore, the study revealed that a significant portion of the respondents had engaged in gambling themselves at a young age. 22% of the participants admitted to gambling before the age of 18, and 28% claimed to have gambled between the ages of 12 to 17.
Notably, almost half of the respondents who experienced harm from gambling expressed feelings of shame or embarrassment about their situation. Additionally, 34% of those individuals had not sought help for their gambling-related problems.
Zoë Osmond, the Chief Executive of GambleAware, emphasized the serious public health issue posed by gambling harms, particularly among children and young people. She raised concerns about the normalization of gambling in society and the detrimental effects of early exposure to gambling.
Osmond also stressed the importance of removing the stigma associated with gambling and encouraged individuals to seek help and openly discuss gambling-related issues. She urged people to engage in conversations about gambling in order to break down barriers and ensure that those in need receive the support they require.
In conclusion, the study’s findings underscore the pressing need for greater awareness of responsible gambling practices and the availability of resources for self-exclusion. It serves as a reminder of the potential long-term consequences of early exposure to gambling and the importance of seeking help for gambling-related problems.