This study explores attitudes, behaviour and exposure to gambling among secondary school students in Victoria. The researchers analysed responses to new gambling-related questions that were added to the triennial Australian Secondary Students Alcohol and Drugs Survey (ASSAD) in 2017. The survey asked 3746 Victorian students aged 12–17 about gambling.
- Almost one in three students had gambled. Older students and males were more likely to have gambled.
- Among those who had gambled, horse or dog racing was most reported (54 per cent), followed by buying raffle tickets (51 per cent), betting on sport (38 per cent) and buying ‘scratchies’ (37 per cent).
- Six per cent of students had gambled in the past month, spending a median of $9.30. Of these students, 13 per cent were classified as ‘problem gamblers’ (at high risk of experiencing harm from gambling).
- Recent gambling was linked to tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug use, and also to students reporting a mental health condition.
- Thirty-five per cent of students knew someone who gambled, and 18 per cent said someone in their household had gambled in the past month.
- Seventy-three per cent of students had been exposed to gambling ads on TV in the past month. More than a third were also aware of ads on radio, sporting scoreboards, websites or social media.
- When asked about gambling in the future, 30 per cent of males and 17 per cent of females said they would ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ gamble.
This study confirms the relationship between student gambling and social influences, exposure to gambling environments and advertising. Based on the findings, 25,600 Victorian adolescents may be spending $2.9 million on gambling each year. The authors recommend limiting students’ exposure to gambling advertising and promotion.
Freund, M, Noble, N, Hill, D, White, V, Evans, T, Oldmeadow, C & Sanson-Fisher, R 2019, The prevalence and correlates of gambling in secondary school students in Victoria, Australia, 2017, Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, Melbourne.