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A new research, carried out by Canadian scientists, shows that teenagers play online gambling games much more frequently that it was supposed. Researchers warn that the earlier you start gambling, the more gambling-related problems you will have in the future.

Do you know how your child spends his or her free time and pocket money? You should pay attention to the teenager’s hobbies, since a new research shows that adolescents gamble more often than we used to think. Researchers of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health at the University of Waterloo in Canada found that a large percentage of teenagers regularly gambled on unregulated gaming sites.

42% of young respondents reported that they had played different instant win games, scratch cards, skill-based games either on gaming websites or at brick and mortar casinos. Ten percent of teenagers visited gambling sites at least once for the previous three months.

"Teenagers who prefer online games are looking for a gambling experience that can lead to gambling addiction", - Dr. Tara Elton-Marshall said.

The researcher warns that the new technologies and simple access to gambling have already changed the current situation. According to Elton-Marshall, the earlier people start gambling, the higher is the probability of developing gambling addiction in the future.

According to the research, over 10 thousand primarily male ninth-grade, tenth-grade, and eleventh-grade students are trapped by bookmakers, offering to bet on sporting events. Adolescents also use the services of online poker rooms and gambling sites on Facebook.

Most teenagers who have participated in lotteries or other kinds of gambling have not yet reached the age of majority in order to gamble legally.

Online gambling is legal in four Canadian provinces: Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Quebec.

Researchers demonstrated that there was a correlation between gambling activities and anxiety, depression, and even suicidal behavior. It was the first investigation that was related to gambling addiction among teenagers.

In addition, researchers are ringing the alarm because of other forms of gambling addiction (e.g., Facebook). Scientists believe that social networking websites affect the reward-related brain regions.

 

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