Setting the legal age for gambling at 18 or 21 has not precluded the occurrence of underage gambling. Research has demonstrated that underage youth participate in casino gambling, lottery playing, and other forms of gambling. A random telephone-survey of 702 Minnesota adolescents aged 15-18 years confirmed that youth have access to scratch tabs, pull tabs, and lottery tickets. Underage youth rely more on parents or other adults to acquire these games compared to legal age youths. However, 27.6% of minors reported success in purchasing scratch tabs, pull tabs, or lottery tickets. Eight percent (8.2%) of this sample reported that underage friends were a source of these games of chance. These findings suggest the need for communities and families to become aware of how they facilitate gambling among youth.
Source: Winters, K.C., Stinchfield, R.D., and Kim, L.G. (1995). Monitoring adolescent gambling in Minnesota. Journal of Gambling Studies, 11, 165-183.
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