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Gambling and Substance Use Among Youth in the U.S.

National Survey of Youth and Gambling

The goals of this study were to examine the prevalence of pathological gambling among U.S. youth; the relationship of youth gambling to neighborhood characteristics and the availability of gambling opportunities; and the relationship of youth gambling to other problem behaviors. A telephone survey of 2,274 U.S. youth found problem gambling (gambling with three or more negative consequences) was occurring at a rate of 2.1 percent among youth between the ages of 14 and 21. That percentage projects to approximately 750,000 young problem gamblers nationwide. In addition, 11 percent of the youth surveyed gambled twice per week or more, a rate that describes frequent gambling. Sixty-eight percent of the youth interviewed reported that they had gambled at least once in the past year. The results were published in the June 2008 issue of the Journal of Gambling Studies. Funded by a grant of $1,827,000 from NIMH, 2003-2008.