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Gambling among youth on the rise

By Peata Melbourne

Published: 9:35PM Wednesday February 10, 2016

  •  (Source: Te Karere)
    TAB - Source: Te Karere

The glitz and glam of top sports is doing more than just attracting young people’s support – it’s attracting their bets.

There’s a new type of gambling influencing our youth and it’s coming in the form of online apps such as TAB Online.

Under New Zealand Law a person has to be at least 18 years old to gamble.

However, doctorate candidate at AUT University Ruth Herd says young people’s social environments are around sports clubs so their normal socialisation is linked with sport betting.

“If they’ve got a credit card and a phone, and the card’s connected to their phone, then it will be much easier for them to access betting sites."

Associate Professor Samantha Thomas, an expert in public health and gambling, says the marketing for online apps influence the way youth think about gambling.

“Kids have very high recall of brands that are advertised within sport and when we ask kids for their favourite types of products, some kids now choose a gambling brand,” says Professor Thomas.

Ms Herd said youth gambling is not currently a problem among Maori youth but it may be in the future with the ease of access through mobile devices.

Intergenerational gambling is also said to be a major contributor for Māori youth creating a normalised habit.

With youth unaware of the harms Ms Herd’s message is for the parents and grandparents.

“They should monitor their own behaviours because they’re the role models.”

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