Profile of Juveniles Reporting Serious Gambling Problems

  • Age of Onset – Begin gambling well before age 12.
  • Gender – Boys dominate about 3 to 1 over girls.
  • Parental Gambling – Growing up in a home where parents gamble, especially when one or both are perceived by the child to gamble excessively.
  • Regional Differences – More likely to live in a metropolitan area.
  • Games Played – Preference for rapid, continuous and interactive games. These include video arcade games, card games like poker, games of personal skill like bowling or pool, sports betting, and machine games in and out of a casino.
  • Sources of Gambling Money – Use of lunch money, selling of personal belongings, “borrowing” someone else’s property (without their knowledge), utilizing bank or credit cards, stealing or other illegal means. They are more likely to work in part-time jobs.
  • Fellow Travelers – More extensively involved in frequent and heavy use of alcohol and psychoactive drugs, illegal activities with the law, poorer school performance, and more truancy. Few acknowledge or seek help for gambling-related problems.
  • Reasons Given for Gambling – Seek excitement; to win money; because I’m good at it; to escape; to distract myself from everyday problems; because I’m bored; because I’m alone; because I’m sad or depressed; to feel more powerful; to be in control of social situations; to feel less shy; to make friends.


    Juvenile Gambling in North America: An Analysis of Long Term and Future Prospects By Durand F. Jacobs – Loma Linda Univ. Medical Center, Journal of Gambling Studies, Vol. 16, #2/3, Fall 2000.
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