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PIF Study Reveals Youth Gambling Problem in New Zealand

Recently updated on July 1st, 2019

Pacific Islands Families (PIF) Study has revealed a deep-rooted youth gambling problem amongst NZ teens. Research shows A large subsection of teens in New Zealand start gambling at a young age. Many become compulsive gamblers by the age of 17, below the legal gambling age. This study conducted on over about half of 1300 children born in the year 2000 along with their parents, exposes the pattern of gambling as starting from the family. According to PIF’s research, which is funded by, New Zealand’s Ministry of Health, most of these teens gamble in a social setting with family and friends.

One of the lead researcher’s Dr Maria Bellinger, stated how gambling often starts within the family context as a social risk-free activity. Let us see what the statistics yielded from the PIF study revealed.


Teen Gambling Statistics According to PIF

The study interviewed about 600 children between the ages of 9 and 17 years old in 2017. The questions ion the related to gambling habits of the said children and of the gambling habits of their friends and family. Through the research, there has been light shed on how exposure to gambling within the family context changes the habits and risky behaviour in gambling amongst youths.

  1. According to research, about 33% of teens in the Pacific islands have gambled with real money in the past year. The real money bets placed were in card games, sports betting and with family and friends.
  2. Out of every 62 of the teenagers, one had become a problem gambler at 17.
  3. A quarter of the 17-year-old teens surveyed had already started placing bets that could harm them three years before.
  4. A third of the teens in the study revealed that they gamble daily.
  5. One for every 83 children in the study gambles three hours per day.
  6. For every five teens surveyed one had stolen money in order to gamble.
  7. Teens who gamble online are more likely to gamble regularly while those who play Bingo will spend more.

Cause and Effects of Youth Gambling

More than half of the 17-year-old interviewed admitted that their parents placed bets and gambled in one or another. While 20% of the 17-year olds experienced anxiety because of a family member’s gambling habits.  Further 11% of the children had suffered a problem at home which was a direct result of a family member’s gambling habits.

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