Internet gambling popularity rises among teens

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Gambling via the Internet is increasingly popular among teenagers, especially boys, says a new report from the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center. Seven percent of teens 14 to 18 years old told surveyors they had gambled on the Internet, the center said yesterday, up from only a tiny handful in previous studies; one in 10 boys reports gambling on the Web in a typical month. The new report said that more than half of 14-to-18-year-old boys had gambled for money in some form. “The possibility that the Internet is hooking boys on gambling should be a cause for social concern,” said center director Kathleen Hall Jamieson. The survey results were released with a volume of research titled “Reducing Adolescent Risk.” In that publication, researcher Rachel Volberg of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst says that “gambling often co-occurs with other risky behaviors and mental health problems and, if unaddressed, may affect adolescents’ success in overcoming other difficulties in their lives.”

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