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Current Trends in Youth Gambling- Know the Facts

New data about youth and young adult gambling helps us learn more about issues and what action we can take to prevent further gambling harm. Below, you will find new data related to gambling risks and how we can help prevent gambling harm in our communities. For additional information and training opportunities, please visit https://nyproblemgambling.org/online-training/


According to a recent study, 23% of students said they have gambled one or more times in the last year.* Gambling is risking something of value on a chance for a desired reward. We also know that of those that gambled, 30% said it was easy to get involved in gambling.** With constant access to gambling activities through phones, computers, gaming systems, and more, it is more accessible than ever. To learn more about youth gambling facts, prevention, and resources, visit For Youth – You Decide NY.

* 2021 NYS Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) issued by NYSEDU to students in grades 7-12

** 2022 Youth Development Survey issued by OASAS to students in grades 7-12

Young Adults

We recently learned that the highest risk populations for problem gambling or pathological gambling includes those who are 18-24 years old, those with a substance use disorder, non-Hispanic black men, those with income below $30,000 and those with a high school diploma or less*. With legalized mobile sports betting, fantasy team leagues, video games, Esports, and many other forms of gambling becoming increasingly popular, the act of gambling can be viewed as “normal.” Learn the warning signs of problem gambling, and know where to go for resources, free screenings, and additional information. Visit For Young Adults – You Decide NY for more details.  

* 2020 NYS OASAS Problem Gambling Prevalence Survey for Adults


65% of those in grades 7-12 that gambled one or more times in the last year, said that their preferred time to gamble was on the weekends.* You can use this fact as a conversation starter to ask youth and young adults what they are playing on their game console, computer or phone. Asking open ended questions like “how do you play that”, “if you spend money on it, how does it help you”, and “why do you like this game/app/etc.” These questions can start a conversation that can dive deeper into knowing the risks and consequences related to youth gambling. For more information, conversation starters, and resources, please visit For Parents – You Decide NY.

* 2022 Youth Development Survey issued by OASAS to students in grades 7-12

Community Leaders

Of those that gambled in grades 7-12 combined, the types of gambling participated in were*:

o            Bingo/Raffles- 52% Bingo/Raffles

o             45% Games of Skill (pool, darts, basketball, bowling or other)

o             41% Lottery

o             37% Cards

o             35% Video games

o             21% Fantasy sports or sports 

o             10% slot machines

o             8.3% animals (dogs, horses)

o             5% at casino

o             4% Bolito

While the most popular form of youth gambling was Bingo and raffles, we have also learned that these are common types of fundraising activities. To prevent youth gambling, we can normalize and promote gambling free events, and offer gambling free fundraising alternatives. You can visit https://youdecideny.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Fundraising-Alternatives-6.pdf for a list of fundraising alternatives like dress down days, costume contest, Silent Auctions, and more. For additional information on youth gambling and current data, visit For Community Influencers – You Decide NY.

*2022 Youth Development Survey issued by OASAS to students in grades 7-12