February 25, 2024
Moi Avenue, Nairobi, Kenya.
Action Society

Exploring the Impact of Digital Media and Online Gambling on Youth: A Multidimensional Analysis of Risk Factors, Prevention Strategies, and Policy Implications

Research Summary

In today’s digital age, the convergence of digital media and online gambling has brought forth profound changes in the way young individuals engage with gambling activities. The prevalence of digital platforms and ubiquitous advertising has raised important questions about the impact of these developments on youth. This paper delves into the multifaceted relationship between digital media, online gambling, and youth, seeking to understand the risk factors involved, evaluate existing prevention strategies, and explore policy implications. Through a multidimensional analysis, we aim to provide valuable insights into a pressing issue that concerns the well-being of our youth in the digital era.

Youth Gambling Prevalence:
  • Online gambling among youth, aged 18 to 25, is a growing concern.
  • Digital media channels significantly contribute to the accessibility of online gambling platforms.
Risk Factors:
  • Psychological factors, such as impulsivity and addiction tendencies, are strongly associated with increased youth gambling.
  • Peer pressure and family dynamics play a pivotal role in shaping youth gambling behavior.
  • The ease of access to online gambling platforms and in-game purchases amplifies the attractiveness of these activities.
Impact on Youth:
  • Problematic gambling behaviors among youth result in adverse consequences, including financial debt and declining academic performance.
  • The mental health of young individuals is adversely affected by online gambling.
  • There is evidence of desensitization to gambling-related risks, which may normalize risky behaviors among youth.
Prevention and Intervention Strategies:
  • School-based prevention programs show promise in raising awareness about the risks associated with gambling and reducing engagement.
  • Parental involvement and education are crucial components in preventing youth gambling.
  • Technological interventions, such as robust age verification and responsible gaming tools, can help mitigate harm.
  • Counseling and treatment options should be readily available for youth exhibiting problem gambling behaviors.
  • Collaborations with mental health professionals can enhance support for affected youth.
Policy Implications:
  • Existing regulations need to be updated to effectively address the challenges posed by digital media and online gambling.
  • Recommendations include stricter age verification processes, limitations on advertising targeting youth, and the implementation of responsible gaming features.
  • Collaborative efforts among government bodies, industry stakeholders, and non-governmental organizations are essential to create a comprehensive approach to youth gambling prevention.
  • International comparisons reveal valuable best practices that can inform the development of effective policies.
Conclusion:

The findings underscore the urgency of addressing the rising issue of youth gambling facilitated by digital media and online platforms. The report emphasizes the necessity of considering psychological, social, and technological factors in understanding and preventing youth gambling behaviors. Furthermore, it highlights the need for proactive policy measures and effective prevention strategies to safeguard the well-being of young individuals in the digital age.

Source:

Chóliz, M., Marcos, M., & Lázaro-Mateo, J. (2021). The risk of online gambling: A study of gambling disorder prevalence rates in Spain. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 19, 404-417.

King, D. L., Russell, A., & Hing, N. (2020). Adolescent land-based and internet gambling: Australian and international prevalence rates and measurement issues. Current Addiction Reports, 7, 137-148.

Mbiriri, M. (2023). Predictive Factors for Gambling and Prevalence of Problematic Gambling Among Students in Selected Public Universities in Kenya. African Multidisciplinary Journal of Research, 8(1), 111-135.

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