Insights Gambling Commission publishes new research exploring the gambling journeys and behaviours of young people


The Gambling Commission’s new research explores the gambling journeys and behaviours of young people and adults aged 16 to 30. The research, delivered by global insights agency 2CV, was conducted using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods, which allowed the Commission to further explore the views of this demographic in their own words. The research supplements the Commission’s wider research programme to understand the experiences of children, young people and vulnerable adults.

The key findings of the 2CV research show that amongst the research participants:

  • engagement with gambling throughout childhood and early adulthood aligned to a familiar set of life events and milestones, such as family holidays, first jobs and increasing financial independence;
  • engaging with gambling or gambling-style activities during childhood was common, but participation was primarily a product of being present or involved with other people’s gambling, rather than proactive underage gambling;
  • for some, exposure to the positive and negative extremes of gambling (e.g., witnessing big wins or big losses, or being exposed to very positive or very negative attitudes about gambling) at an early age led to an increased interest in gambling in later life, and in some cases riskier or more harmful gambling behaviour;
  • friends and family played a hugely influential role in shaping gambling behaviour, whilst advertising and marketing played a lesser role in influencing young people’s tendency to gamble, acting as a trigger or nudge to play as opposed to the reason to start gambling;
  • young people were most vulnerable to experiencing gambling harm after achieving independence from their parents; and
  • as people grew older gambling behaviour did not stay the same; rather it fluctuated according to personal (and peer) experiences of wins and losses, and alongside changes in lifestyle and responsibility.

To read the Commission’s press release in full and for a link to the full findings, click here.