Gambling in Young People

Gambling is a risky activity where people place money or something of value on the outcome of a game of chance. This can be done in a social setting, such as playing card or board games with friends for small amounts of money, or more formally through sports betting pools, lottery tickets, or casino gambling. Some people gamble for a living, and some are known as professional gamblers. Gambling can trigger feelings of excitement and euphoria, but it is important to remember that all forms of gambling carry some level of risk.

The ALSPAC data allow us to investigate the complex interaction of genetic risk, demographic and environmental factors in the development of gambling behaviour in young people. The analysis involves longitudinal regression models that identify individual, family and community antecedents of regular gambling at ages 17 years, 20 years and 24 years.

To control their gambling, it is important for individuals to set a spending limit for themselves. This can be done by allocating a portion of their disposable income for gambling and sticking to this limit even if they win money. They should also avoid chasing their losses, as this is a common trap that can lead to addiction.

People who have a problem with gambling can seek help by contacting a health professional or completing online tests. These will not diagnose a person with gambling disorder, but they may provide an indication of whether they require a face-to-face evaluation by a trained clinical professional.