Despite the considerable expansion of gambling alternatives over the past ten years, the number of those suffering from gambling addictions has remained stable, and has even declined among minors, the FHI report shows.
Young men aged 18-24 are however increasingly at risk, with 40,000 people reported to be suffering from gambling addictions.
“When we look at the evolution of different population groups, there are are number of warning signs,” said Marie Risbeck, FHI’s coordinator gaming prevention, in a statement.
Among men aged 18-24, the proportion of problem gamblers has doubled in ten years and today amounts to around 10 percent of the age group, around 450,000 people in Sweden.
Scientific studies show that there is a clear connection between gambling problems and psychological ill-health, low income, and low education.
There is furthermore a clear link between excessive alcohol consumption and exposure to violence, FHI observed.
“We know that more than 260,000 people live together with a problem player, of which 75,000 are children,” Marie Risbeck said.
Risbeck argued that gambling among under-aged players should be highlighted.
“Despite the fact that there is an 18-year-old limit on all gambling… many minors state that they have played for money in various forms,” she said.
The report also includes a review of the measures and initiatives available to tackle the problem with excessive gambling.
Among the measures are a dedicated helpline, as well as a plethora of self help groups and other treatment alternatives.
FHI’s report however calls for improvements in what is on offer to gambling addicts and for better coordination across the country.