Further results showed that more than 50% of teenagers surveyed, aged 17, observed their parents placing bets. 1 out of every 5 expressed concern about the betting habits of a family member, while 1 in 9 had even experienced some sort of household issue related to games of chance. These initial statistics already raised concerns, but a deeper analysis pointed to a few more alarming trends.
Dr Maria Bellringer, a lead author in the study, drew attention to a more serious statistic. 1 in 3 Pacific youngsters had participated in real money betting, putting down money on sports betting or a card game. Dr Bellringer emphasised that the behaviour suggests an increased risk of early gambling addiction. She further pointing out that in many families, sports betting is often viewed as a risk-free social activity, with no conversations had regarding potential long term consequences.
The most poignant statistic presented was that 1 in 62 of the participants surveyed demonstrated problematic gambling behaviour by the age of 17. A number that Dr. Bellringer declared was reason for serious concern.
More details from the survey highlighted the nature of casino games preferred by teenagers. It seems that Pacific youngsters are most drawn to dice, bingo and online casinos. Additionally; 1 in 83 spent more than 3 hours a day playing these specific games. This is in contrast to the 1 in 3 that placed at least 1 bet a day on other games, and also spent less time doing so. Interestingly, it was those who engaged in Bingo and dice that spent the most money. But the most troubling statistic of all was that 1 in 5 had used stolen money to play casino games.
The information in the survey will be used by the New Zealand Ministry of Health to further strengthen regulations. The report was part of Pacific Islands Families research, meaning that the details will be shared with other nearby countries, including Australia.