Paper in International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
- Monaghan, S. & Derevensky, J. (2008) An appraisal of the impact of the depiction of gambling in society on youth. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, Accepted 3 April, 2008, Published online 19 April, 2008.
Youth are currently growing up in a culture where gambling is legal, accessible and widely supported. Although minors are largely restricted from regulated gambling, the greater incidence of problem gambling amongst youth than adults suggests that the perception of gambling as a harmless entertainment activity is inaccurate. Gambling is widely portrayed in the media often in an inaccurate or exaggerated way that normalizes gambling and may encourage youth to participate. Wagering on sporting events is becoming intrinsically linked with these competitions and gambling-themed toys and games are widely available and targeted at children and adolescents. Gambling is often presented as providing significant social and economic benefits and the increased availability of gambling venues heightens youth's awareness of gambling opportunities. The depiction of gambling in society requires examination with efforts made by key stakeholders to present a balanced portrayal of the odds of winning and risks associated with gambling in an effort to reduce the emergence of gambling-related problem amongst adolescents.