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Local youths’ gambling problems increase over past decade: survey

2018-07-24 08:00     Comment:1

The findings of an annual survey released yesterday conducted by the Bosco Youth Service Network (BYS) show that increasingly more young local people had gambling problems during the last decade.

The latest annual survey on young local people’s gambling problems was conducted last year, which was the ninth time the group conducted the survey.

The group yesterday hosted a press conference at Dom Bosco (Yuet Wah) College near Avenida do Coronel Mesquita yesterday about a comparison of the nine surveys’ findings.

Mark Ng Chi Ho, an assistant professor from Hong Kong Shue Yan University (HKSYU), who helped conduct last year’s survey, presented a summary of the findings of the annual surveys during the press conference.

According to Ng, around 600 valid questionnaires were collected when the survey was first conducted in 2009, while the number of collected valid questionnaires gradually increased to around 900 last year.

The respondents were aged between 13 and 21 during the nine surveys, over 80 percent of who were aged between 15 and 18, according to Ng.

According to Ng, each respondent was asked nine questions in the questionnaire for them to be assessed how they were affected by gambling problems. The wording of the nine questions describes different negative behaviours resulting from gambling desires. If a respondent answers all the questions in the negative, they are classified as not being affected by gambling problems at all. If a respondent answers one to three questions in the affirmative, it means that their gambling activities may affect their studies, relationships with their families and interpersonal relations. If a respondent answers at least four questions in the affirmative, it indicates that they may be addicted to gambling, Ng noted.

According to Ng, while 13 percent of young local people’s gambling activities may affect their studies, relationships with their families and interpersonal relations in 2009 when the survey was first conducted, the percentage rose to 22 percent last year.

In contrast, while 86 percent of the respondents were not affected by gambling problems in 2009, the percentage declined to 74 percent last year, according to Ng.

Ng said that while the percentage of young local people being addicted to gambling did not see a significant rise during the past decade – with one or two percent for most of the years, four percent were classified as having a gambling addiction last year.

Ng also said that according to the first survey one or two percent of young local people considered the possibility of engaging in gambling activities, the percentage rose to four to six percent in recent ones.

According to Ng, while 3.4 percent of the respondents in 2009 said that in order keep themselves excited by gambling they needed to place increasingly higher bets, more than 10 percent said in recent years’ surveys came up with the same reply.

According to Ng, while 0.5 percent of the respondents said in the 2009 survey that they wanted to gamble again after losing money with the aim of winning back the lost money, more than 1.5 percent said the same in the surveys of 2016 and last year.

Ng said that the trends of the findings of the surveys during the past decade show that young local people are becoming less able to refrain from gambling.

Ng said that while in the past more young males than their female counterparts were affected by gambling problems or even gambling addictions, now the gap between both was narrowing.

In the surveys conducted between 2013 and last year, for those respondents who said they were gambling, most said that they first gambled when they were aged between 12 and 14, followed by respondents who said that they first gambled when aged between 9 and 11, according to Ng.



Mark Ng Chi Ho (left), an assistant professor from Hong Kong Shue Yan University (HKSYU) who helped conduct the annual survey on young local people’s gambling problems, speaks during yesterday’s press conference about the findings of the survey, while Tam Tek Sang, a social workers team leader for the Bosco Youth Service Network (BYS), looks on, at Dom Bosco (Yuet Wah) College near Avenida do Coronel Mesquita. Photo: Tony Wong

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