Vulnerable Populations

  • Sally Gainsbury
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Behavioral Medicine book series (BRIEFSBEHAVIO, volume 1)


Internet gambling lacks the gate-keeping systems of land-based gambling venues that protect vulnerable individuals. Internet gambling poses particular risks to two specific vulnerable populations; youth and problem gamblers. Adolescents and young adults are familiar with Internet technology and appear to be gambling online at higher rates than the general adult population. This is particularly concerning as gambling at an early age is associated with gambling problems and engagement with gambling at a young age may lead to increased involvement during adulthood. Internet gambling has been associated with problem gambling as higher rates of problem gamblers have been found in samples of Internet gamblers. It is likely that problem gamblers use this mode of gambling when other forms are not available and therefore, Internet gambling acts to maintain and exacerbate existing problems. However, Internet gambling is also likely to create problems for individuals who would not gamble on other means and cause substantial difficulties. This chapter outlines the specific risks posed by online gambling to adolescents and young adults and the use of online gambling amongst these populations. The impact of advertising and marketing on youth is also explored, including measures that should be enacted to protect this group. The impact of Internet gambling on problem gambling is also explored. Research findings are critically analyzed as well as factors that appear to be associated with Internet gambling problems.


Internet gambling Online gaming Youth Adolescents Young adults Students Problem Gambling Risk factors Self exclusion Advertising 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sally Gainsbury
    • 1
  1. 1.Southern Cross UniversityLismoreAustralia

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