Measuring the online gaming and gambling risk for MN youth
Thursday, October 26, 2023
Minnesota announced this week it has joined a multistate lawsuit against Facebook's parent company Meta, over claims of addictive social media features harming teens.
It coincides with growing research about teens and gambling.
Serena King, professor and chair of psychology at Hamline University, has been working with the Minnesota Alliance on Problem Gambling to analyze results from the most recent Minnesota Student Survey while the legal action plays out.
King said there was not much difference between the 2019 survey and the new results from the past year for taking part in gambling. But there was a slight uptick in online participation, a trend worth monitoring.
"I think looking at various new emerging sorts of online gambling is going to be really important in the future," King emphasized.
King was surprised online gambling did not see a major spike during the pandemic, but stressed it does not mean concerns should be ignored, as states like Minnesota keep debating the legalization of internet sports betting. The recent survey added a question about so-called "loot boxes" in video games, and King hopes future efforts have even more specific definitions to get a true sense of young people's online gaming behavior.
King noted establishing more detailed research is important as teens are increasingly exposed to ads for gaming and gambling on their cell phones. And it is not just technology.
"I think we're seeing the emergence of more opportunities around different types of betting, even within youth sports, like tickets and lotteries, raffles," King pointed out.
King explained such activity lends itself to enticing more youth to engage in informal betting. Her research team said examining patterns of early experimentation could help predict problem gambling down the road.
Meanwhile, tech giants like Meta condemn the legal action, saying elected leaders should focus instead on working with companies to adopt age-appropriate standards for certain apps.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
A bill moving through the Kentucky Legislature would make fluoride treatment in drinking water optional for local municipalities. House Bill 141 …
Most teenagers eagerly anticipate turning 16 to start driving and 21 for other milestones, but the significance of obtaining the right to vote at 18 …
New York state lawmakers have appointed members to the Community Commission on Reparations Remedies, created through legislation Gov. Kathy Hochul …
A new report argued many charitable foundations need to examine the origin of their wealth and repair harms done. The National Committee for …
A proposed urban reforestation program in Massachusetts aims to help cities mitigate the effects of climate change. Legislation would create a state …
A Wyoming nonprofit is helping single mothers climb out of poverty by connecting them with the training and support they need to step into and succeed…
Ahead of Super Tuesday, a new poll finds a majority of Mainers support replacing the Electoral College system with a national popular vote. More …
Even though March is barely underway, parents of Wisconsin kids are being encouraged to plan for summer reading activities - especially if their …