Youngsters Aren’t Fans of Gambling, While Seniors Embrace It with Open Arms

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Youths´ attitude towards gambling negative, elderly positive

Attitudes towards gambling have become more negative in younger age groups, while becoming more positive in older age groups, said the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) in a press release on Tuesday referring to a recent study.

Finns had primarily negative attitudes towards gambling.

In older age groups, those aged 45–59 and 60–74, attitudes became slightly more positive compared to both 2019 and 2011.

Meanwhile, in younger age groups, the attitudes became more negative in both the shorter and the longer term.

Attitudes towards gambling were measured with several individual statements.

In 2023, the majority (90%) of the respondents felt that gambling should not be encouraged, and the 61 per cent of the felt that there were too many opportunities for gambling.

However, 58 per cent of the respondents felt that people had the right to gamble whenever they wanted. One in five respondents (20%) believed that, overall, gambling benefits society.

“The attitudes towards gambling and several individual questions on the respondents’ opinions reflect a change in attitudes that is in line with the changes that have occurred in gambling. The clearest changes in the decline in gambling and a more critical attitude towards gambling were observed in young adults”, said Anne Salonen, Research Manager at THL.

“The opinions expressed by the respondents also revealed that there was a partial opposite trend in the views of women, men and people of different ages”, Salonen said .

In 2023, 70 per cent of people aged 15–74 in mainland Finland had gambled in the past 12 months.

At the population level, this comprises around 2.5 million people. Gambling was most common among men and those aged 45–59.

Gambling has become more occasional. Finns typically gamble less often than once a month. Until 2015, Finns most commonly gambled once per week.

The number of people engaging in several different game types also decreased. On the other hand, the amounts of money spent on gambling did not change.

Online gambling is very common in Finland. Up to 44 per cent engaged in online gambling in 2023.

The gambling of four per cent of Finns was at a moderate-risk or problem gambling level in 2023. The share of these respondents increased compared to 2019 and 2011.

The result means that approximately 151,000 people in mainland Finland have a gambling problem that is causing them to experience either individual or significant harm and symptoms of addiction.

“A startling finding is that there has been no decline in gambling problems among young adults and they have become even more common among men despite an overall reduction in gambling”, said Researcher Tanja Grönroos of THL.

“This may be explained by factors such as gambling habits. Men and young adults favour fast-paced games, which are known to be harmful, and online games, including ones not provided by the gambling monopoly”, Grönroos said.

Seven per cent of Finns engaged in offshore ( other than Veikkaus Oy) online gambling (approximately 251,000 people at the population level).

This share included those who played the online games of Paf (Ålands Penningautomatförening) and foreign game providers. Playing online games not provided by the monopoly operator Veikkaus was the most common among men (12%) and 18–29-year-olds (15%).

At the whole population level, there was no change in offshore online gambling compared to 2019. However, an exception was found in the group of 45–59-year-olds, where there was an increase in offshore gambling.

A more detailed examination showed that although there was no change in the amount of foreign online gambling in 2023 compared to 2019, there has been an increase in playing these in the longer term. Playing Paf’s online games has become more common since 2019.

In 2023, 74 per cent of the respondents felt that the gambling monopoly provides a good way to limit the negative effects of gambling. Support for the monopoly as a means of preventing harm has increased in the short and long term.

A clearly larger share of women (82%) than men (65%) felt that the monopoly was a good way to limit the negative effects of gambling. Support for the monopoly has increased among women and decreased among men.

In particular, the youngest and oldest age groups felt that the monopoly was a good way to limit the negative effects of gambling.

The currently published results are based on the Finnish Gambling population study, which has been carried out every four years since 2007.

A total, 5,977 people aged 15–74 years living in mainland Finland participated in the 2023 study.

The study is the most important source of information on gambling among the population in Finland.

In 2023, the study data were collected using an online and postal survey, in addition to which some of the data were collected through telephone interviews.


  1. EmilySmith says

    Do you think the increase in negative attitudes towards gambling among youths is related to an increase in awareness about gambling-related harm?

    1. JohnDoe says

      Yes, it is very likely that the increase in negative attitudes towards gambling among youths is closely tied to the growing awareness about the harm caused by gambling. As young people become more informed about the potential risks and consequences associated with gambling, they are likely to develop a more critical stance towards it. This shift in attitude is crucial in promoting responsible gambling practices and protecting vulnerable individuals from falling into harmful gambling behaviors.

  2. EmilySmith says

    Youths’ attitude towards gambling seems to be shifting towards a more negative perspective, while the elderly are leaning towards a more positive view. It’s interesting to see this generational difference in attitudes towards gambling, reflecting broader societal changes. It is crucial to understand and address these shifting perceptions to promote responsible gambling habits and protect vulnerable populations.

  3. JenniferSmith says

    Do you think the increase in positive attitudes among older age groups towards gambling could have any impact on future gambling regulations?

    1. MichaelBrown says

      As the attitudes towards gambling among older age groups become more positive, it is likely to influence future gambling regulations. Seniors, who embrace gambling with open arms, may advocate for more lenient regulations that cater to their preferences and habits.

  4. Alice Smith says

    In my opinion, younger age groups are right about having negative attitudes towards gambling. It’s important to recognize the potential harm and addiction that can come with it. On the other hand, older age groups may view gambling more positively due to different life experiences and perspectives.

  5. EmilyJohnson93 says

    As a young adult myself, I’m not surprised by the negative shift in attitudes towards gambling among my peers. It’s concerning to see how easily accessible and normalized gambling has become, especially through online platforms. I hope more measures are taken to discourage this behavior and protect vulnerable individuals.

  6. EmmaSmith82 says

    As a young adult, I’ve noticed a shift in attitudes towards gambling among my peers. Many of us are becoming more cautious and critical towards it, especially with the easy access to online gambling platforms. It’s interesting to see how different age groups have varying perspectives on this issue.

  7. EmilyJohnson says

    Do you think the shift in attitudes towards gambling is influenced by generational differences or external factors?

    1. JohnSmith says

      Hi EmilyJohnson, I believe the shift in attitudes towards gambling is influenced by a combination of generational differences and external factors. Younger generations are often more exposed to negative portrayals of gambling and the potential risks associated with it, which may contribute to their more critical attitudes. On the other hand, external factors such as changes in gambling regulations and marketing strategies can also shape people’s perceptions. It’s a complex interplay between multiple factors that are shaping these changing attitudes.

  8. Emily_Smith says

    As a young person myself, I can confirm that many of us are indeed wary of gambling due to its potential negative impacts. It’s interesting to see how different age groups perceive it differently. I believe it’s crucial to educate the youth on the risks involved in gambling to prevent future problems.

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