Underage gambling is becoming a huge problem across New Zealand, with more and more children getting involved in the activity. A recent report highlights this problem, showing that a large number of New Zealand children with Pacific background begin gambling from a very young age.
According to the report, which was carried out by AUT University, 60% of young children begin playing gambling games at home with their families. Of that percentage, nearly 30% gamble for money, starting many children off on a dangerous path.
Previous studies have shown that the development of unhealthy gambling habits starts at home. Just like any other learned behaviour, children are most likely to mimic their parents’ actions. If their parents are gamblers, it is likely that they will go down a similar path – especially if they are encouraged to take part while they are young.
This study highlights the importance of leaving children unexposed to gambling behaviour until they are the legal age to gamble. This includes keeping them away from gambling card games and buying them lottery tickets as gifts. Preventing problem gambling begins at home, and many parents should take this seriously.