The Hong Kong Gambling Watching held a survey in November, 2004 to investigate the situation of football gambling among middle school and high school students under 18 years old. In recent days, the results and analysis of this November survey has been released.
According to the Hong Kong Gambling Watchdog, 3,002 students participated in the survey. 2,373 of the participants were under 18 years of age. The analysis was therefore based on these 2,373 questionnaires, where 48.4% of the group was male and 51.6% for female. The average age is 15.3.
The questionnaire focused on five questions: the number of students actively involved in soccer gambling; how they started gambling; when they started to join soccer gambling; the percentage of compulsive gamblers, and mortality rate of gamblers; and where gamblers generally went for personl counseling.
The result of the survey revealed that in the year of 2004, 6.1% of teenagers tool up soccer gambling. Comparing to the 4% of 2003, the percentage has risen by 52.5%. Further, amongst the 130 teenager soccer gamblers who took part in the survey, 68.5% of them started to join soccer gambling after it was legalized in 2003.
The survey included a DSM-IV standard test of APA (American Psychology Association), which showed that among the 130 teenagers who joined soccer gambling, 24.5% become problem gamblers and suicidal gamblers. That is, in every 4 middle school students who took part in soccer gambling, become problem gamblers and suicidal gamblers. Since there are 467,000 students in the middle schools and high schools in Hong Kong, students under 18 years old are estimated to be 400,000. Therefore, the population of teenager students who joined soccer gambling may reach 24,400, and there might be 6,000 problem gamblers and suicidal gamblers among them.
The result also showed that 76% of the funds went to the Hong Kong Jockey Club: 38.8% of the gamblers in the survey gambled on their own, in the gambling spots or through internet; other 37.2% gambled through adults.
When these teenage gamblers found problems of themselves, more than 50% of them would search help from their family members, while only less than 20% went to professional assistant center.
Since the government legalized soccer gambling last year, more and more teenagers started to set foot in gambling den. The practice of gambling in the whole Hong Kong society has been rising.
However, the advertisements of the Hong Kong Jockey Club is not restricted, and a plan to build new gambling-den was brought forward to the government. The Hong Kong Gambling Watching held this survey in order to alert the public to how serious the situation has become, and to urge the public and the government to take necessary action against gambling.