Adolescent Land-Based and Internet Gambling: Australian and International Prevalence Rates and Measurement Issues

Daniel L. King, Alex Russell, Nerilee Hing

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose of Review: This review summarizes recent studies of adolescent gambling in Australia and overseas. Its purpose is to examine variations in participation in gambling activities, including land-based and Internet gambling, and in measurement approaches to studying gambling-related problems. Recent Findings: Between 15 and 80% of young people report past-year gambling participation, typically involving scratch cards, lotteries, card games and sports betting. Around 5% report past-year Internet gambling. Estimates of problem gambling among adolescents vary, with Australian figures generally between 1 and 5%, and studies in the USA, Canada, UK, Italy and Finland generally reporting rates of 1 to 7%. Simulated gambling involvement (e.g., gambling-like apps, social casino games) appears more prevalent but its relationship to monetary gambling and problem gambling risk requires further research. Summary: Youth gambling and exposure to gambling-like activities via digital technologies is a global phenomenon that warrants continuing research. Research is required at the conceptual level, for example, to identify relevant harms and map links to other risk behaviours, and at the methodological level to identify optimal measurement approaches. This includes considering respondents’ level of involvement in reported gambling (active vs passive), recall issues and clearly distinguishing monetary from simulated gambling. Understanding youth gambling is particularly relevant as new digital technology-based gambling activities and promotions become more prevalent and available to young people with the means to access them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-148
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Addiction Reports
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2020


  • Adolescent gambling
  • Measurement
  • Prevalence
  • Problem gambling
  • Tool


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