Adolescents represent a particularly high-risk group and they are also vulnerable to the development of gambling related problems. Thanks to technological advances in gaming industry (slot machines, video lottery terminals, casino-types games) new form of gambling are continuously appearing. With the purpose of having an idea about the spreading of gambling among the students of Palermo, a survey has been conducted through administration of questionnaires during the period from January to May 2017: this study involved 1622 students (686 boys and 936 girls) between the age of 14 and 19. In this survey it has been demonstrated that only 15% of students have never played; 36% declare they have played cards with money at least once in their life and 19% of them play lotteries and scratchers; some others have played sport betting (14%), bingo (7%), slot machines (5%), horse betting (4%). The money spent on a single day is between 1 and 10 euros (584 students); 530 teenagers spend 1 euro or less; 132 between 1 o and 100 euros; 16 students more than 100 euros/die. Moreover, most alarming is evidence indicating that there is a considerable number of students who have gambling players parents (father 18,65%; mother 16,4%; both of them 4,52%): this is considered an important vulnerability factor. The analysis of the picked data suggests that there is a widespread diffusion of gambling among the adolescent population. So, to conclude, the present research points out the need to complete immediate interventions on both levels of information and prevention.
Gambling; New addiction; Adolescents