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Rising Concerns in Denmark over Underage Gambling

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A new study released by Denmark’s gambling regulator, Spillemyndigheden, reveals that 15% of young people between the ages of 15 and 17 have gambled.

The regulator said that this is roughly 32,000 people who have gambled while underage. Within this group, 68% had placed some form of bet, 42% said that they play at live online casinos, 21% said they play the lottery and scratch cards, and 4% said that they take part in other activities.

The study also found that 35% of young people play on websites where skin betting is available. Skin betting is a feature in video games that allows players to win virtual items such as new weapons or clothing for their characters.

According to Spillemyndigheden, at present, no websites are licensed to offer skin betting in Denmark, and therefore, the youngsters will have been playing on illegal websites.

Gambling Most Popular with Danes Aged 40 to 49

While underage gambling is a worry, every other age group examined in the report had a higher rate of gambling, with the exception of 70 and above, of which 10% gambled.

The age group with the most gamblers was 40 to 49, with 30% gambling. Next was 18 to 24 at 26%, 50-59 at 27%, 30-39 at 24%, 25 to 29 at 22%, and then 60 to 69 at 19%.

Worryingly, there is also evidence that young people have been turning to gambling-harm organizations. The study discovered that 4% of the calls made to StopSpillet, a gambling helpline operated by Spillemyndigheden, were from under 18s. The report is a small part of a larger research project into Danish gambling habits, and the full report is expected before the end of the year.

Findings Support StopSpillet Data

Concerns about underage gambling in Denmark were raised earlier this year when data from StopSpillet showed that 88% of callers had placed their first bets before the age of 18. The data also showed that callers had been struggling with gambling for roughly two years and seven months before contacting the helpline.

A total of 39% of calls to StopSpillet come from relatives of problem gamblers split equally between partners and siblings.

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