Report on young people and gaming released by UK commissionBy Luke Haward, CDC Gaming ReportsDecember 1, 2018 at 10:03 amYoung People & Gambling 2018, a research study into the gambling habits of teenagers in Great Britain, turned up some interesting observations.An astonishing total of 32.5 percent, almost a one-third of all children aged 11 through 16 in Great Britain, were classified as gamblers. Just 1.7 percent of the group are estimated to be problem gamblers, a further 2.2 percent are classified as being at risk. Boys continue to be almost twice as likely to be problem gamblers than girls, at 2 percent versus 1.3 percent.For comparison, the Commission cites the statistics for percentages of children aged 11-to-16 who have gambled in the past week (14 percent) versus the percentages who stated they drank alcohol (13 percent), smoked cigarettes (4 percent) or used illegal drugs (2 percent).The most common observed types of betting in this age group were varieties of real-world gambling, from betting with friends for money (6 percent), buying scratchcards (4 percent), and playing slot machines (3 percent). Only 1 percent of respondents had gambled online in the past week, although 5 percent reported having done so at some point over the past year. Six percent admitted to having used parents’ accounts to do so at some point in the past.The survey covered a great deal of ground, with numerous statistics provided for frequency of viewing gambling advertisements (66 percent had seen them on TV, and 59 percent on social media). The Commission reported a rise compared to last year’s number of problem gamblers in this age range (1.3 percent) and those at risk (0.9 percent). It also noted this was likely due to a larger uptake of respondents this year thanks to a screening question for participants which helped them to more efficiently identify those who gambled in the past year.One interesting finding buried deep in the document is that 24 percent of respondents reported that the first gambling they ever participated in was playing fruit or slot machines at an arcade, pub or club. This comes on the heels of a warning shot fired across the bows of the public house industry by the Commission, where they recently noted in a police inquiry that prevention rates of underage gambling on class C machines was as low as 10 percent. Fairly shockingly, over half respondents reported they were physically with parents or guardians when they gambled, played fruit machines, or bought lottery tickets.The Commission also reported that of 300 assessments conducted this year into operators’ ability to exclude underage players, 9 percent were found to be inadequate in doing so.Clearly there is room for improvement in gambling establishments, as well as in pubs and clubs, but also on the part of parents, who in many cases seem to be either allowing or even encouraging their underage children to gamble. Educating parents as well as children on these risks is vital to getting these numbers down, as is controlling advertising.