Survey: One-third of Ontario teens gamble

The Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) recently conducted a survey in Ontario to get a look at the gambling habits of teens. Of the 2,140 teens age 15 to 17 surveyed, more than one-third said they gamble for money.

The 34.9% that say they gamble have a wide variety of types of gambling that they do. However, at 40% the predominant choice is playing poker.

Other forms of gambling chosen were:

  • 36% buying raffle tickets
  • 23% sports betting
  • 15% playing dice games
  • 10% gambling online

"We know that one-third of teens gamble today. By the time they're 20, twice as many of these young people will be gambling," said John Kelly, RGC CEO. "Teens are absorbing information about gambling from the Internet, parents, friends and TV."

Most teens report that they are gambling for entertainment. There are some, however, who report gambling because they need money or want to win back lost money.

Laurie Bell, RGC director of Prevention Programs, said more teens are spending time and money gambling which is why it's important to educate them about it.

The RGC has programs such as the "House of Cards" theatrical drama that tours Ontario high schools for that purpose. This year they are also conducting a Web page design contest for high school students to help educate them.

The contest challenges students to use their creativity and computer skills to design a Web page that informs their peers about risks that can be associated with gambling and promote responsible gambling.

The top two designs will earn scholarships for their creators. First place will win $1,000, and second will get $500.

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