, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 165-183

Monitoring adolescent gambling in Minnesota

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Youth gambling was investigated in a prospective sample of 532 Minnesota adolescents and young adults. Of particular interest was the possible impact among the study sample of a recent state lottery and of reaching the legal age for gambling on changes in the rate and type of gambling. Overall rates of gambling involvement and pathological gambling did not change across the 1.5 year interval. However, a preference for certain types of gambling activities (e.g., lottery, casino machines) significantly increased, whereas more informal and unregulated games (e.g., betting on games of personal skill) significantly decreased. Also, access to gambling activities by underage youths was high, suggesting the need for tighter controls of legalized games and greater awareness of this problem by the gaming industry and public health officials.

Support for this study was provided by the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Compulsive Gambling Treatment Program. A version of this work was presented at the Seventh National Conference on Gambling Behavior, July 24, 1994, New London, CT.