Evidence gambling problems start in teen years - study

A study paid for by the VLT industry says evidence shows gambling problems start in the teen years.

A new study says it is not clear why some people become problem gamblers, but there is growing evidence that gambling problems begin at a young age.

The review was done for the New Brunswick Coin Machine Owners' Association. It's the group that operates video lottery terminals in the province.

The organization enlisted University of New Brunswick sociologist Dr. Jim Richardson to conduct the research.

He says there is growing evidence that gambling habits start during teenage years.

Richardson says that may be the best place to start with education programs.

On Tuesday a similar report was released in Ontario, suggesting that a large number of young adults in province have gambling problems.

The study was conducted by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and the Responsible Gambling Council of Ontario.

It calls for improved policies and prevention programs aimed at young adults.

The study of 5,000 people found that seven per cent of those aged 18 to 24 had moderate to severe gambling problems.

That is almost twice the rate found in the general population.