Youth online gambling. Longitudinal evolution and pandemic challenges

Journal title PRISMA Economia - Società - Lavoro
Author/s Debora Scardacchi
Publishing Year 2023 Issue 2022/1-2 Language Italian
Pages 15 P. 53-67 File size 259 KB
DOI 10.3280/PRI2022-001004
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This paper aims at giving an overview on youth gambling and online gambling: in particular it analyses how online youth gambling consumption evolved in the last fifteen years, and changed with the pandemic. In fact, digital and online gambling are considered to cause most gambling harms and lead to problem gamblers. Despite gambling is forbidden to minors, studies show that they are both spectators and actors of gambling activities both online and onsite. Lockdown measures adopted during the pandemic restrained the accessibility of physical gambling, whereas may have accelerated the diffusion of online gambling. In fact, lockdowns boosted internet use among young people and it likely determined an increase in online gambling, especially via smartphones, as part of more frequent online activities. In theory, the necessity of a registration by identity and credit card could have somehow limited online gambling for youth and minors, so that a full investigation is warranted. We combine a series of national gambling statistics (ESPAD, IPSAD and ISS data), to analyse the main trends on gambling prevalence, risk profiles and expenditure, and look for its links with other addictions or contextual factors. Data limitations yield a composite picture, and call for more longitudinal evidence. Lockdowns appear to have favoured a certain substitution between physical and online gambling. Figures on youth consumption lead to conclude that, although there might have been a certain increase of online gambling, the process is still at its beginning, and effective policies are needed to reduce the minors accessibility to widespread online gambling activities.

Keywords: youth gambling, online gambling, Covid19, ESPAD, regulation

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Debora Scardacchi, Il gioco d’azzardo online dei giovani. Evoluzione temporale e sfide pandemiche in "PRISMA Economia - Società - Lavoro" 1-2/2022, pp 53-67, DOI: 10.3280/PRI2022-001004