The online betting and gambling habits of young people in the ACT will be the focus of a first-of-its kind study from The Australian National University (ANU). 

Lead researcher Dr Aino Suomi describes online gambling as an “ever evolving, fast-moving space”. 

She’s confident this study will help fill a gap in what we know about young Australians and gambling. 

“We’ll be focusing on young people aged 18 to 25, which will help us better understand some of the pathways to gambling and how we might help people before they experience gambling harm down the track,” Dr Suomi said. 

The researchers are keen to hear from participants who wager, bet or gamble online, or spend money on gambling-like features in video games. 

Dr Aino Suomi. Photo: Tracey Nearmy/ANU

“We know sports betting in particular is a big part of online gambling for this age group,” Dr Suomi said. 

“It’s the only legal online gambling product in Australia, and incredibly easy to access. 

“We’re keen to understand more about how and why young people are engaging with this kind of betting – whether they’re more likely to do it while watching the game with mates or as a solo activity.”  

The study will involve around 50 in-depth interviews with both young people who gamble online and adults such as parents or teachers who play an important role in their lives.  

The project is funded by the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission

Results will be published later in 2023 and will help inform new public health initiatives targeting gambling harm in the ACT.  More information about the study is available on the Centre for Social Research and Methods website.

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