Louise Sallé 6:55 a.m., February 18, 2022

Commissioned by the National Gaming Authority (ANJ) from the Sedap association (Society for mutual aid and psychological action), a study reveals that 34.8% of 15-17 year olds were gamblers in 2021. An illegal practice , which is not without risk on mental health and which is no doubt fueled by advertisements aimed at teenagers.

This is an unprecedented survey, the first in France to analyze the behavior of minors in the face of gambling.

Commissioned by the National Gaming Authority (ANJ) from the Sedap association (Society for mutual aid and psychological action), it reveals that 34.8% of 15-17 year olds were players in 2021, despite the ban on sale of these games to minors in tobacconists and on the internet.

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For Emmanuel Benoît, director of the Society for mutual aid and psychological action specializing in addictions, this figure is explained, among other things, by advertising.

Celebrities and influencers communicate massively on social networks and well-known footballers appear in advertising spots for sports betting.

An identification advertising strategy

Emmanuel Benoît analyzes, for example, a television advertising campaign in which a young person is carried in triumph in front of a crowd who prostrate themselves at his feet, as in

the Lion King

, because he has won money: " It targets people who will identify with both victory and gain. And this identification leads young people to say to themselves 'why not me'", he comments.

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In addition, it is the parents who offer their children the first scratch tickets.

Nearly half of adolescent gamers, the survey indicates, practice this activity with their mother.

A third of 15-17 year olds who play, finally, develop risky behavior much more quickly than adults.

The share of so-called "problematic" players has thus tripled compared to 2014.

School absenteeism and social isolation

"A gain will make the young person want to reproduce it. The teenager will then start to lose money, he can go into debt up to 300 euros with his classmates! We have studied several cases such as that in our investigation", explains Emmanuel Benoît.

“When there is too much debt, it is school absenteeism and social isolation, then embezzlement like theft, to obtain money at all costs in order to pay off the debts”, he continues. .

The Psychological Action Society recommends integrating prevention programs in high school and controlling advertising.

The National Gaming Authority should soon issue an opinion on this subject.

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