2019 Young People & Gambling Survey

The Gambling Commission’s annual study, produced by Ipsos MORI, examining trends in gambling participation among young people in Great Britain is published today.

The author(s)

  • Emily Mason Public Affairs
  • Jane Stevens Public Affairs
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The Gambling Commission has today published the results of the 2019 Young People & Gambling survey carried out by Ipsos MORI, which looks at gambling trends among 11-16 year-olds in Great Britain.

The findings show that 11% of 11-16-year olds say they spent their own money on gambling in the seven days prior to taking part in the survey, compared with 14% who reported gambling over the same period in 2018.  The long-term trend shows a decline in participation since the questions were first asked in 2011.

Some of the most common types of gambling activity that young people say they have spent their own money on, during the seven days prior to taking part in the survey, are legal or do not feature age restricted products. These activities include placing a private bet for money (e.g. with friends) (5%) and playing cards with friends for money (3%).

The research also shows that 3% of 11-16 year olds report buying National Lottery scratchcards in a shop in the past seven days (16-year olds can legally play the National Lottery). A further 4% say they have played fruit or slot machines in the past seven days, an activity that typically takes place in family arcades or holiday parks.

A summary of the key findings

Gambling participation in the past seven days

  • 11% of 11-16 year olds say they spent their own money on gambling in the seven days prior to taking part in the survey.
  • 5% of 11-16 year olds say they placed a private bet for money (e.g. with friends) in the past seven days, with a further 3% playing cards for money with friends in the past seven days.
  • 4% of 11-16 year olds report playing on fruit or slot machines in the past seven days.
  • 3% of 11- 16 year olds say they have bought National Lottery scratchcards with their own money and 2% say they have played the Lotto (the main National Lottery draw) in the past seven days.

Online gambling and gambling-style games

  • 7% claim to have gambled online, either in the past seven days, four weeks, 12 months or more than 12 months ago.
  • 12% of 11-16 year olds say they have played an online gambling-style game at some point. 47% of those who played an online gambling-style game, did so through an app.

Attitudes towards gambling

  • 60% feel well informed about the risks of gambling and 59% agree that gambling is dangerous
  • Only 7% agree that it is OK for someone their age to gamble once a week
  • 50% of respondents said that someone had spoken to them about the problems that gambling can lead to, with the conversation typically taking place with a parent (34%) or teacher (19%).

The full report can be found on the Gambling Commission website.

Technical notes

  1. On behalf of The Gambling Commission, Ipsos MORI carried out a survey among 2,943 pupils aged 11- 16 across curriculum years 7-11 (S1 – S5 in Scotland) using the Ipsos MORI Young People Omnibus. A total of 606 schools were selected, at random, from a sample frame of all Academies and Maintained secondary schools across Great Britain. 124 schools agreed to take part, giving a school response rate of 21%. Within each of these schools, one curriculum year group was selected, at random, and, within this year group, one class (two in four schools) was randomly selected and the pupils within this class asked to take part in an online self-completion survey.
  2. Fieldwork took place between 12 February – 19 June 2019.
  3. The data have been weighted by age of pupil, gender and region to provide a representative sample of pupils in curriculum years 7-11 (S1 – S5 in Scotland).
  4. Results to the current 2019 survey are compared with previous waves for some questions. The selection of the sample and weighting were carried out in the same manner as 2018. In 2018, 2,865 11-16 year-olds took part in the research. Whilst the 2019 survey was carried out online, the 2018 survey was a mix of online and paper-based interviews and all previous waves were paper-based.
  5. Throughout this document, readers are advised to bear in mind that comparisons made over time are indicative due to changes in methodology and sample frame, alongside adaptations to the question content and structure. A note on all changes made to the research design over time is included in the full report. It is also important to note that we are reporting an approximate number of 11-16 year olds who gamble based on national figures for the year groups eligible for the survey and that participation rates among all 11-16 year olds in the population may be different as not all school types were eligible for the survey (e.g. fee-paying, special schools and Pupil Referral Units were excluded).
  6. Within the survey, ‘gambling’ covers the activities listed below. Young people were asked to consider whether they spent their own money on these activities in the last 7 days, 4 weeks, 12 months or more than 12 months ago:
    1. ­ Lotto (the main National Lottery draw)           
    2. ­National Lottery scratchcards which you bought in a shop (not free scratchcards)
    3. ­National Lottery instant win games on the internet (e.g. National Lottery Gamestore)
    4. ­Any other National Lottery games (e.g. EuroMillions, Thunderball, Hotpicks)
    5. Other Lotteries (e.g. The Health Lottery, People’s Postcode Lottery, or other smaller lotteries available in shops)
    6. ­Fruit or slot machines (e.g. at an arcade, pub or club)
    7. ­Placing a private bet for money (e.g. with friends)
    8. ­Playing cards for money with friends
    9. ­Bingo at a bingo club  
    10. ­Bingo at somewhere other than a bingo club (e.g. social club, holiday park, etc.)
    11. ­Personally visiting a betting shop to play gaming machines
    12. Playing other gambling machines
    13. Personally placing a bet at a betting shop (e.g. on football or horseracing)
    14. ­Personally visiting a casino to play casino games
    15. Gambling websites/apps where you can win real money (e.g. poker, casinos, bingo, betting on sport or racing)
    16. Any other gambling
  7. For further information journalists should contact the Gambling Commission press office on 0121 230 6700 or email: communications@gamblingcommission.gov.uk

The author(s)

  • Emily Mason Public Affairs
  • Jane Stevens Public Affairs

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