I remember when I was young, I always liked to do bets on everything: “ I bet I can do that “ “Want to bet on it ? ”, and I think most of did this. The thing is that, when we are young, we always like to compete, to push ourselves to the limit, see how far we can go, and gambling is a very good way to do this. Allot of studies on the gambling habit, within USA and Canada, has shown that 60% to 90% of all young people at some time in their life they have gambled. Ok, so let’s go back to the question “Why do young people like to gamble? “.
Results from studies on what motivates young people gamble have shown that young people chose, or not chose to gamble because it offers the pleasure of winning, the social context and escapism. Both children and young people say that the main reason of gambling is that they want to win money. According to an experimental study, money has a particular value to children of pre-school age. When choosing between a game where you win points, one where you win sweets and one where you win money, children choose the one where you win money, thinking of a possible financial gain, also their motivated to play more.
Gambling is exciting to young people and children. The moment when the wheels of a fruit machine showing three matches, the moment you scratch you lottery ticket are associated with immediate physiological excitement, witch leads to a “tingly feeling” in your body. As I said up there another thing that makes young people play, is the completion, the need to take control, many children say that they want to take control of the game, be good at it, or win over and over again. If they loose the money they prefer to not tell anyone, but if they win money they will happily tell everyone.
Other gamblers put their minds only on the game and forget about things like home, how they feel. This children and adolescents prefer to play alone than with their friends and describe the gambling activity as repetitive behavior that helps them block reality and keep unpleasant thoughts at bay. Most young people think that if they gamble more they gain experience and won’t loose so often after. Gambling reminds them of other types of games such as computer games. This means that it’s logical for them to think that gambling is the same.
Another thing that attracts young people to gambling, is the illusion of control. They think that they are in full control of the game. This means that they think they can throw a six with a dice by throwing it more softly rather than harder. Ok, so how much do young people gamble again ? Allot ! Studies from the Nordic countries indicate that games are a common phenomena, as in the rest of the Western world. Rossow and Hansen conducted a major study in Norway, with indicates that almost 80% of Norwegian adolescents, aged between 12 and 18 have gambled in the last year.
Swedish adolescents gamble nearly as often according to the only Swedish population study that has been conducted, 75% of the Swedish adolescents aged between 15 and 17, said that they have gambled in the last year. According to Jacobs’ review of studies conducted in the USA and Canada, gambling among young people in North America increased during the 1980s and 1990s. At the beginning of the 1980s, 45 per cent of North American adolescents had gambled, while 66 per cent said that they had done so by the end of the 1990s (7).
According to the CAN’s studies, gambling has neither increased nor decreased among Swedish ninth graders during the period 2000–2004 (18, 19). Questions with regard to gambling on the Internet were included in the latest study from 2005, but it is still impossible to distinguish a change in how much ninth graders gamble (18). These results, however, do not mean to say that no changes have occurred as regards adolescent’s gambling since young people who are younger or older than those in the ninth grade have not been included in these studies (only figures from 2004 and 2005 are available as concerns pupils at upper secondary school level).
Children and adolescents, above all boys, tend to overestimate the possibility of winning. If the chance of winning a certain game is one in five hundred, younger children may think that this means that you can win five hundred times, or that you can win five hundred crowns. Children think that a reimbursement rate of 75 per cent, i. e. that the gamblers on average lose 25 per cent of the stakes, means that you can win 75 times more money or that you can win 75 times. Younger children also seem to think that the chance of winning is greater if the winnings are high.