According to a study carried out by researchers from McGill University and DECODE, an organization that focuses on youth strategy, between August 2008 and April 2009 it was found that only 40% of parents feel that underage gambling is a cause for concern.
Researchers interviewed 2,700 Canadian parents and found that most of them do not realize that the growing trend of teenage gambling is likely to lead to problem gambling later in life.
“Canada is a world leader in researching and understanding gambling behaviours, and this study looking at parents of teens is a global first. However, while there are some resources on youth gambling currently available for parents, and other resources being developed, this is still an emerging area," reports Dr. Jeff Derevensky, Co-Director of the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University and a collaborator on the project.
Fast expanding new technologies and lottery terminals are present everywhere and offer teens much more opportunities to gamble and lose money.
"Parents should be made more aware of the rapid growth of underage gambling activities, including on social networking sites like Facebook", says Eric Meerkamper, President of DECODE, the youth-focused strategy firm which collaborated on the study. "Encouraging parents to speak with their children about gambling is particularly important since unregulated online opportunities for youth gambling are growing at a phenomenal rate."