Ungdomars spel om pengar. Spelmarknaden, situationen och karriären
Sammanfattning: Gambling has become widely accepted in Sweden during the 1990s, with betting shops, gambling machines and casino-like gambling in pubs and restaurants, as well as Bingo-Lotto in our living rooms. Beyond the expansion in availability of legal gambling opportunities, the most notable change is the shift from gambling in specific venues to gambling in a much wider range of social settings. The consequences of this development have not yet been fully described and analysed. However it is likely that teenagers will observe and engage in gambling activities at younger ages than in the past. The main purpose of this dissertation is to discuss the social impact of increased availability of gambling in society and to obtain a better understanding of gambling activities among teenagers. A critical review of research literature on gambling is an essential part of the dissertation, as it tries to organise concepts, theories and research results from different research perspectives into a framework for understanding of gambling behaviour among young people. In addition to the literature review this dissertation includes analysis of some empirical data collected in a national two-phase study. The first phase consisted of a survey among the general population in Sweden to obtain some information about gambling activities, individual experiences of gambling and gambling related problems. The second phase was designed to include all respondents with gambling problems in the sample, together with a matched control group. Face to face interviews and data collection were carried out about two years later with 324 respondents, including 96 teenagers. Gambling problems were assessed and then reassessed after two years in the second phase with SOGS-R. Gambling has become institutionalised within the mainstream economy and is supported by the many of stakeholders, including the state, sport organisations, and others, benefiting from its proliferation. Restrictions and age limits reduce the level of gambling activity among teenagers but they do not prevent them from gambling, and attitudes towards gambling could be described as ambivalent or even in favour of gambling. Teenagers seem to look upon their introduction to gambling as part of their normal transition into adulthood. The majority of the teenagers do gamble for recreational and social purposes. Regardless of their age, sex and socio-economic situation, they usually participate in gambling just for the fun of it. But among ten per cents of the teenagers gambling becomes more problematic. A framework for understanding of gambling and gambling problems among young people relates gambling actions to 1) personal background and living conditions, 2) the gambling settings and concepts of space, time and type of gambling, 3) the consequences as flow and the desire to repeat the gambling actions, and 4) the gamblers intention. In spite of lower rates of gambling involvement, teenagers were found to be three times more likely than adults to experience difficulties related to their gambling. A major finding reported in this dissertation is however that gambling problems, at least in less severe forms, seems to be more changeable over time than expected.
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