A recent study conducted by national regulator Spillemyndigheden in Denmark has revealed that around 15% of young people between the ages of 15 and 17 have participated in gambling. This amounts to approximately 32,000 individuals engaging in underage gambling, despite the legal gambling age in Denmark being set at 18 years old.
Of those who have gambled in this age group, 68% did so by placing bets, with 42% playing online casino games, 21% participating in lotteries and scratchcards, and 4% engaging in other forms of gambling. Additionally, 35% of young people were found to be involved in skin betting on websites, a popular form of gambling among younger players, despite the absence of licensed sites offering this activity in Denmark.
The prevalence of underage gambling is overshadowed by the 40-49 age group, with 30% of individuals in this category reporting gambling habits. Those in the 18-24 age group follow closely behind with 26% engaging in gambling, while the 70-plus age group reported a 10% participation rate.
The study also uncovered evidence of young people reaching out to gambling harm organizations, with 4% of calls to StopSpillet, a gambling helpline run by Spillemyndigheden, coming from players under 18. This suggests that young individuals are already at risk of developing gambling-related issues at an early age.
The release of these figures highlights the ongoing concern over underage gambling in Denmark, with previous data from StopSpillet showing that 88% of callers had placed their first bet before turning 18. Moreover, callers were found to experience problem gambling behavior for approximately two years and seven months before reaching out for help.
It’s important to note that relatives of problem gamblers are also affected, as 39% of all calls to StopSpillet come from them, with half of those calls originating from parents. Partners of players account for 17% of calls, while siblings represent another 17% of the calls received by the gambling helpline.
The findings from Spillemyndigheden’s study are part of a broader investigation into gambling habits in Denmark, with hopes to publish the full findings by the end of the year. These findings serve as a reminder of the importance of addressing and preventing underage gambling in the country.