Online gambling among teenagers is on the rise, with one in every 14 gambling regularly.
A study of 96,000 school children across 35 countries in Europe found that gambling was increasing among children aged 15 and 16.
The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (ESPAD) found that gambling has “the same potential to become addictive as psychoactive substances”.
The study called adolescent gambling a “major public health concern”, stated that it could lead to strained relationships, criminal behaviour, mental disorders, and a greater risk of suicidal thoughts.
Family support and monitoring were identified as preventive factors, with those receiving more parental caring and monitoring less likely to be involved in problem gambling.
The survey did not interview or include data from UK children, but drew on existing UK data as part of the wider research.
Another recent study found that gambling can significantly increase violence among men.
Results published in the scientific journal Addiction showed that men who gambled were more likely to fight, use a weapon, and use violence against women or children.
It was the first study to clearly demonstrate the link between gambling and violence, even among ‘casual gamblers’.