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The prevalence of moderate- and high-risk behaviour among Dutch gamblers aged under 24 could be as high as 23%, according to a new survey published by the Netherlands’ government.

The survey, which was based on responses from Dutch young adults aged between 18 and 24 who gamble, was published yesterday (26 February) by the government, having been carried out by research institute I&O Research.

It sets out key facts about the gambling habits of young people in the Netherlands. Below are some of the standout figures from the report.

PGSI ratings of Dutch young adults

According to the results of the survey, analysed against the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI), 54% of Dutch gamblers aged 18-24 are considered to be non-problematic gamblers.

A further 23% are considered low-risk gamblers, while 9% are considered moderate-risk gamblers.

The remaining 14% of survey respondents, however, were considered to be high-risk gamblers.

Survey respondents also reported on some of the specific behaviours analysed in these classifications.

For example, around 34% of respondents said they had at least on occasion gambled more money than they had planned to during the past 12 months.

A further 21% said they had thought about quitting gambling but felt like they couldn’t, and around 28% had spent time gambling when they should have been doing other things.

Around 35% of respondents said they had gambled more money, or for a longer period of time than planned, on at least some occasions over the past year.

As for how open young gamblers are to discussing their behaviour, 22% of respondents said they had never told other people how much they gambled. 

A further 32% said they had only sometimes been honest about how much they gambled, while 20% said they usually told others and 26% said they almost always told others.

Game type preferences

Out of all the survey respondents, 60% said they had participated in casino and table games over the past 12 months, making this vertical by far the most popular among young people.

Around 49% of respondents said they had placed bets on sports during the same period, while 48% had played scratchcards and 42% played lotteries.

In the land-based sector, 37% of respondents said they had played on physical slot or fruit machine games over the past year.

Lower down the list of popular games were bingo, with 18% of respondents participating, poker with 13%, and horse racing wih 6% of respondents saying they had placed bets over the past year.

Elsewhere, the report showed that the vast majority of respondents (80%) play more than one type of gambling game.

The report also suggests a correlation between high-risk gamblers and particular kinds of game.

For example, 28% of high-risk gamblers participate in horse racing betting, while the proportion of lower-risk gamblers who participate is significantly lower.

Similarly, 32% of high-risk gamblers were found to participate in poker, compared to just 8% of non-problematic gamblers and 11% of low-risk gamblers.

Gambling frequency

Regarding the frequency of respondents’ gambling activity, the survey also demonstrated that certain game types are closely related to more frequent play among their participants.

For example, 18% of horse racing bettors said they played every day or almost every day, while a further 32% said they played once or a few times a week.

Similarly, 16% of poker players said they played every day or almost every day, with 20% saying they played at least once a week.

For players of other games, the frequency of play was found to be much lower. For scratchcard players, for example, 9% of respondents said they played once or a few times a week while just 1% said they played every day or almost every day.

Among players of casino and table games, 10% of respondents said they played once or a few times a week, while a further 3% said they played almost every day.

Game type also had a significant impact on whether players participated online or offline in their games of choice.

Scratchcard players, for example, play overwhelmingly offline with 85% of respondents saying they buy the product offline only.

Elsewhere, 90% of sports bettors said they engage with the activity exclusively online.

Other verticals were more evenly split between online and offline. For example, 32% of horse racing bettors said they played only online, 41% only offline, and 27% played both online and offline.

Recognising and reducing harmful gambling

Out of all the respondents, 75% said they would be able to recognise in themselves if they had a problem with gambling or if problems with gambling were becoming worse.

However, 13% of respondents said they totally disagreed with that statement, while 9% said they neither agreed nor disagreed and a further 3% said they did not know.

A further 72% of respondents agreed that simply by paying closer attention to their gambling behaviour, they would ensure it did not get worse.

Still, that meant 12% of respondents disagreed with that statement, 10% neither agreed nor disagreed, and 5% did not know.

As for methods of preventing problematic gambling, 28% of respondents said that over the past year, they had made agreements with themselves around how much they were allowed to gamble in order to prevent gambling problems from getting worse.

A further 8% said they had temporarily stopped gambling, without the use of the Cruks self-exclusion register, while 8% had discussed their gambling with others and 7% had made agreements with others to reduce or stop their gambling.

A further 6% of all respondents had used a self-test to examine their gambling behaviour, while 4% had chosen to stop gambling using Cruks.

Just 2% of respondents sought further advice from problem gambling service Loket Kansspel, while 1% had sought advice from their doctor.

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