A quarter of young men have a gambling problem and GPs should consider screening them for the addiction, researchers say.
A University of Bristol study found that 25 per cent of men aged between 18 and 24 had gambling problems of varying degrees of severity. The researchers polled more than 1,000 patients in 11 Bristol GP waiting rooms. About one in 20 people had a gambling problem and one in five of those had a severe problem. Young men were much more likely to have a problem, as were people who used drugs and those who had depression or risky drinking habits.
Sean Cowlishaw, from the university’s Centre for Academic Primary Care, who conducted the study, said that young men were often a vulnerable group. He added: “We are seeing the first generation who have grown up with high levels of gambling exposure normalised. We are talking about advertising constantly, online gambling, on smartphones as well, and betting shops clustered on high streets with electronic gambling machines.”
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