Study: British Asian Children More Susceptible To Gambling Addiction

This story was published more than 12 years ago.

A report by the BBC cites a study by the University of Salford and the National Centre for Social Research that found British children of Asian descent are more likely to become addicted to gambling than their white counterparts.

The study looked at 9,000 children aged between 11 and 15 and found that among all of the ethnic groups studied, Asians were the least likely to gamble, but those that did had the highest rates of addiction.

The study found that 13% of British Asian children were regular gamblers compared to 20% overall among all races, but were more likely to develop addictive and problem gambling behavior. Traits of gambling addiction include lying to friends and family about gambling and using money that is supposed to be spent on other things. Children that had the highest pocket money were the most likely to become addicted.

Discussing the possible reasons why British Asian children are more likely to develop a gambling problem than white children, Professor David Forrest said, "In the Asian community there is strong social disapproval of gambling in general. This means the minority who choose to gamble are already overcoming a barrier - already suffering a cost in terms of social disapproval."

"So probably a lot of Asians who gamble are people drawn to risk-taking whereas among whites many players are not candidates for hardened gambling because they're playing for social reasons rather than a driver in their inner self."

Ruth Champion, who manages gambling addiction rehabilitation courses also commented on the study, saying "In the last 5 years we've seen an influx of people getting into trouble younger because gambling has become more prevalent and accessible. We've seen our average client age go from late thirties to early twenties."