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However, few studies have asked young people to consider a broad range of strategies that may be used to prevent the normalisation and harms associated with a range of different types of gambling. The present study aimed to fill this gap in knowledge, and was guided by three research questions: 1. What are the strategies that young people perceive are useful to prevent the normalisation of gambling and gambling harm?
How can the perspectives of young people be better incorporated in decision making about strategies to prevent the normalisation of gambling and gambling harm? Methods Approach The data in this paper was part of a broader study investigating the normalisation of gambling for young people in Australia. In interpreting the data, the researchers took a public health approach to data interpretation, which acknowledges that gambling practices and potential harms are driven by a range of determinants, including social and environmental contexts, and the influence of the gambling industry and regulatory frameworks [ 35 ].
The study took a critical qualitative inquiry approach which acknowledges the role of power and social injustice in health issues and aims to use study findings to inform social and policy change around a particular issue [ 36 , 37 , 38 ]. This critical qualitative inquiry approach guided all aspects of the study, including the development of implications for public health approaches to policy and practice.
Sampling and recruitment Young people aged 11 to 17 years were invited to participate in the study through their parents or primary carers. This age range was chosen assuming that this is the age at which many young people start to think about and become aware of gambling, and are able to critically interact with the information that they see about gambling [ 18 , 39 ].
A range of convenience, purposive, and snowball techniques were used to invite participation in the study. These included distributing recruitment notices on social media sites for example, posting the flyer to Twitter and Facebook , contacting parents through our existing networks, and asking parents to pass on information about the study to other parents and families. Purposive sampling strategies were used to ensure that young people with a wide range of attitudes towards gambling were invited to participate [ 40 ].
Recognising the influence of social contexts on gambling attitudes and behaviours, this study sought to recruit young people from different socio-demographic and geographic contexts. Parents were provided with a Plain Language Statement about the study and were asked to share details with their child.
Written consent was obtained from parents. Interviews were conducted via videoconference, and initially involved researchers revisiting the main points of the Plain Language Statement and the consent process. Young people were then invited to ask questions about the study before providing verbal consent.
Participants were told that there were no right or wrong answers, that they could slow down or stop the interview at any time, and that the research team were interested in their attitudes and opinions. Young people were provided with a AUD 30 grocery voucher as a token of appreciation for their time. Data collection Semi-structured interviews, lasting approximately one hour, were conducted between July and April via videoconference due to social distancing restrictions associated with the COVID pandemic.
Young people were able to participate in the interview by themselves, or with siblings who were also between 11—17 years if they felt more comfortable doing so. Interviews were audio-recorded with permission, and were professionally transcribed. Transcripts were read by members of the team, and the recording was revisited if there were questions or clarifications needed about the accuracy of the transcription.
In relation to this study, young people were asked to reflect on strategies that could be used to counter the normalisation of gambling or reduce gambling related harm. For example, young people were shown pictures of various gambling products, as well as infographics relating to the amount of money spent on gambling advertising in Australia. To help young people think about policy issues and recommendations, they were asked about what they would say about gambling to politicians or to sporting organisations.
Data interpretation Data interpretation was guided by a constructivist paradigm, exploring how young people made sense of gambling environments [ 43 ]. In step one, members of the team became familiar with the data through reading and re-reading transcripts, noting ideas and thoughts about how young people conceptualised how and why gambling was normalised, and perceptions of how harms associated with gambling could be reduced. As interviews were read as part of step two, codes were generated about different aspects of gambling normalisation and harm reduction strategies, particularly as they were associated with things that young people had seen in their everyday lives.
Themes were then constructed from the data step three. These themes were reviewed by members of the research team step four , and further refined to reflect key harm reduction strategies and address the research questions step five. Findings were finalised during the write up of the manuscript step six. This was particularly important in light of descriptions of the responsibilities of powerful social agencies and corporations, such as sporting organisations, governments, and the gambling industry.
To ensure reflexivity, members of the team met regularly to consider and discuss the main themes that were constructed from the data. This included how subthemes and themes could be explained by the broader research literature, and new areas for consideration. This process was also used in the development of the model to emerge from the data, with regular written and in person feedback loops enabling the research team to provide comment and reflection.
Five themes were constructed from the data. Theme one: Reducing the accessibility and availability of gambling products Young people offered suggestions about strategies that could be implemented to reduce the availability and accessibility of gambling products. Initial reactions from young people were strong — and included recommendations to completely ban some forms of gambling, such as EGMs. For example, some young people stated that EGMs needed to be closed, banned, or temporarily restricted at certain times of the week or year to give people a break from gambling.
Others suggested getting rid of EGMs, or that people should be stopped from using them: Stop it. Close down all the poker machines. Just try and limit the amount of people that can gamble at all or at one time because gambling isn't cool.
Suggestions included changing gambling environments to ensure that they were less appealing for individuals to want to stay in for a long time. Some others focused on more targeted approaches, such as removing gambling from areas that were popular social spaces or contained other risky products such as alcohol , to make gambling less of a normal part of everyday life.
One young person tried to illustrate this by stating that gambling venues should only be in places where tourists went: I think maybe removing them from local bars and things, I guess could help. And maybe putting them only in certain places where a lot of tourists may go. So it's not a thing that you can do every weekend, I guess.
That it's only a fun thing to do when you're on a holiday, or something like that? These proposed changes mostly included limiting the amount of time and money that individuals were able to spend on gambling. Young people regularly drew on their own observations of gambling environments in developing these recommendations. There was just some guys that were just sitting there and they just seemed like they were sitting there all day just doing it [gambling].
The following 14 year old noted that government regulation was needed to ensure that individuals were not sitting in a venue for lengthy periods losing money: Obviously, pokies are not going to make it easier for people to win. Pokies, they want — the more you play, the better they do, the more money they make….. There should be a limit to: 1 , the amount of time you can spend in a venue, and 2 , the amount of money that you can actually put in…..
Then, I feel like after maybe two hours, I think they should kick you out of the place. You should not be able to be in a venue for more than two hours…, I think the venue should be encouraged to just not let them keep losing their money. Young people recommended various strategies that could help individuals to monitor and avoid gambling losses, including providing links to direct information about how much money was left in their bank account, clocks to show time spent gambling, spend indicators, and tools to help individuals pre-commit to the money that they wanted to spend when gambling.
Just for the extreme gamblers so they don't feel outraged or anything. Sort of still reasonable. Or whatever. So a restriction on how much someone can actually put in per week. Some stated that the alignment between sport and harmful products such as gambling was problematic for individuals who were fans of sport because it was considered extremely popular and highly influential on the gambling decisions of some sports fans.
This included that there was more pressure for athletes to perform if people had bets on the outcomes of a match, and that the relationship between gambling and sport could create pressures on athletes and teams: I think it's okay, but I can see how people would see it as a bad thing. Especially if you're a team member, to have that pressure on you if people that are putting their money on your performance or your team's performance.
I think that's a lot of pressure on the teams and the players themselves, because if they don't live up to that performance, then the people that support them are losing their money. Some stated that it was important for such organisations to be responsible towards their fans, and not be so reliant on the money they receive from companies that caused harm. Young people spoke extensively about the power of sporting organisations to promote gambling, but also about their power to prevent gambling harm.
Because I bet [athletes] would have a huge amount of influence… That'd probably make a lot of people not gamble. So, probably if they talked about gambling and told everybody not to gamble, then that would be a huge influence across the country and there would be a lot less people gambling.
It was perceived that the financial benefits to sporting organisations from gambling would make any decrease in gambling within sport difficult to achieve: I don't like gambling in sport. I think it should be left out. It's one of those things that's been around for too long.
It probably won't be stopped… It builds up the competition and the AFL [Australian Football League] or the sporting things might promote it, so they can get more people into it and pay more money. These participants stated that significant financial benefits for teams were built from sponsor relationships with the gambling industry: I feel like it does belong in the sporting industry They felt that such advertising was particularly influential in both normalising and influencing individuals to gamble.
They recommended strong curbs on gambling marketing, with suggestions ranging from limiting the number of and spend on gambling advertisements, to complete bans. When recommending limits on advertising, young people often expressed significant care and empathy for those who could be potentially harmed by gambling.
Maybe, as well, the companies themselves. This was because they perceived that their financial interests meant that they would not restrict their marketing in a way that would jeopardise profit. Save statistic in. XLS format You can only download this statistic as a Premium user. PNG format You can only download this statistic as a Premium user.
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