New research from GamCare has shown that children whose parents can be categorised as problem gamblers are more likely to have been bought scratchcards. The charity organisation, which operates the National Gambling Helpline, is now warning that risks associated with early exposure of young people to gambling could pave the way for gambling addiction at a later stage of their lives.
The YouGov survey commissioned by GamCare found that about 38% of the residents of the UK who were gambling addicts had purchased scratchcards for their children, in comparison to 22% of the Brits who dealt with low-level problem gambling behaviour. On the other hand, only 8% of gamblers had no problems with their gambling habits and 5% of non-gamblers in the country had bought scratchcards for their children.
The data gathered by the GamCare research is based on a survey held with more than 4,000 adults and more than 500 14- to 15-year-olds in the UK. It showed that 12% of parents had purchased scratchcards for their children, while a further 20% of the parents said they would consider doing so in the future.
It also became true that younger parents, especially ones in the age group between 16 and 24, we much more likely to purchase a scratchcard for their children.
Furthermore, 27% of the surveyed teenagers confirmed that they had played scratchcards with members of their families, although arcade games (both in-person and online) remained the most common form of gambling among parents. Also, about 14% of the surveyed parents confirmed they had played games with their child, with this figure increasing to about 45% of parents who could be categorised as gambling addicts.
Gambling Exposure at Young Age Could Result on Gambling Addiction at a Later Stage of Life
The senior programme manager of GamCare Alexa Roseblade explained that scratchcards can often pave the way for problem gambling. She further noted that only 4% of the individuals who call the National Gambling Helpline cite scratchcards.
Ms Roseblade confirmed that gambling exposure at a young age can result in a person getting hooked on other forms of gambling at a later stage of their lives. According to her, this was particularly the case with many young people who experience a large win at an early age that could push them to chase the same experience through other forms of gambling as well.
GamCare officials also noted that the data gathered as a result of the YouGov survey highlighted the fact that the road to gambling addiction can start much closer to home than most players may realise. The results of the research showed how young people are usually much more likely to be exposed to various forms of gambling, such as scratchcards, in case a parent can already be classified as a problem gambler. In addition, such exposure may also make other forms of gambling and gambling behaviour look normal in such children’s lives when they become adults.
The recent survey of GamCare also showed that it may be really hard for children who grew up with a problem gambling-engaged parent to exit the vicious circle of gambling and gambling-related harm when they become adults. The support they receive from their partners and families could make a huge difference and make them feel in a good place in their lives, with no exposure to harmful gambling happening.
As confirmed by problem gamblers who have been exposed to certain forms of gambling as children and their fascination grew into a life-ruining experience, gambling addiction could have a lasting impact on the lives of people who have been affected by it.
Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.