A rapid increase in sports betting advertising has raised community concern about the impact this has on children. Recent research shows young people are increasingly at risk of being affected by gambling issues. The research emphasises the importance of community awareness and education for young people and those who support them.

Research on youth and gambling

Gen Bet: Has gambling gatecrashed our teens? (PDF - 2990.1 KB)
Discussion paper
Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation
March 2017

Gambling and young people: impacts, challenges and responses (PDF - 334.8 KB)
Discussion paper
Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation
October 2013

From Adolescent to Adult Gambling: An Analysis of Longitudinal Gambling Patterns in South Australia
Paul Delfabbro, Daniel King, Mark D. Griffiths
Journal of Gambling Studies
August 2013

Gambling and young people in Australia
Report to Gambling Research Australia
Nola Purdie, Gabrielle Matters, Kylie Hillman, Martin Murphy, Clare Ozelins, Pam Millwood
Australian Council for Educational Research
August 2011


'One in five adults with gambling problems started gambling before they were 18.'

Hare, S 2009, A study of gambling in Victoria – Problem gambling from a public health perspective, Victorian Department of Justice, Melbourne.

'On average, there is one teenager with a gambling problem in every classroom.'

'Three to four per cent of teenagers have problems with gambling. That’s one in every high school class of 25 students.'

'A 2011 study estimated 77 per cent of adolescents gambled in some form during the previous 12 months.'

'Teenagers are four times more likely to develop gambling problems than adults'.

Purdie, N, Matters, G, Hillman, K, Murphy, M, Ozolins, C & Millwood, P 2011, Gambling and young people in Australia, Gambling Research Australia, Melbourne

'Boys are more likely to gamble and develop problems than girls.'

Volberg, RA, Gupta, R, Griffiths, MD, Olason, DT & Delfabbro, P 2010, ‘An international perspective on youth gambling prevalence studies’, International Journal of Adolescent Mental Health, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 3–38.

'Parents’ gambling behaviours and attitudes may influence whether a teenager is likely to gamble before they are 18.'

Delfabbro, P 2003, 'The social determinants of youth gambling in South Australian adolescents’, Journal of Adolescents, vol 26, no. 3.

'Teenagers are particularly vulnerable to gambling advertising and struggle to distinguish between advertising and program content. Also that the use of sports stars or media celebrities to promote gambling has more impact on teenagers than on male sports viewers'.

Thomas, S, 2013, Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.

'The number of free-to- play simulated gambling games on apps and social media are on the rise. About one in 10 adolescents reported having tried gambling games on Facebook, one in 20 tried gambling apps on smartphones, one in four at-risk adolescents engaged in simulated casino card games, one in 10 reported playing simulated electronic slot machine games and one in 20 adolescents play casino type games through video game franchises.'

King, D, 2013, University of Adelaide Study.
Background information on cyber safety and available resources
Australian Communications and Media Authority, 2013

'The chance of winning top prize at the pokies is 9.7 million to 1'

'The chance of being killed by lightning is 1.6 million to 1'

'The chance of winning first division Powerball is 55 million to 1'

'The chance of dying from a venomous bite or sting is 1 million to 1'

Centre for Gambling Research 2003, ‘Fact sheet: Gambling Odds’, Centre for Gambling Research, Melbourne.

For more information about academic gambling research

Visit the Gambling Information Resource Office