Gambling is game where people do betting on money with an aim of making profit or conning people. It is also referred to as money wagering where one risks his/her money though uncertain of the outcome. Gambling in US is a growing problem with a lot of youth indulging themselves but the reason is because some forms of gambling are legalized and this is what is known as gaming. This essay is mainly going to focus on the issue of gambling among the American youth. It will show its prevalence, provide the available statistics and assess whether socioeconomic status contributes to this problem.
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Access to the internet coupled by the fact that gabling is legalized by the federal government has greatly contributed to its prevalence, "Given the rise in legal gambling across the U.S., and on the Internet, young people have more access to gambling than ever before" (Acumen Fund). The most affected age group in the United States according to a survey that was done by the Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) is those between the age of 14 and 21. It is estimated that about 750, 000 youth gamble at least once in annually and it is this high rate of indulgence that is of concern to authorities (Medical News Today, 2009). This study delineated what it termed as problem gambling; this is a kind of gambling that brings about un intended negative consequences for example spending more on gambling than one would have intended or even going to an extent of stealing to get money to gamble. According to Acumen Fund's survey, two percent of American youths are considered to be involved in problematic gambling (Acumen Fund, 2008).
According to a research that was conducted in 2000, males of all ages participated equally in gambling while women's participation differed with age with adult females participating more than young females. Male gambling is high during adulthood while female gambling tends to emerge during adolescent period. Again it was noted that there was insignificant problem gambling among females unlike in males for example only a three percent of the former were in it while a tenth of a percent of the latter were involved (Thompson, 2001).
In US according to studies, gambling depends on changes that occur in one life for example, a research that was done in 2000 shown that people employed full time were highly likely to gamble than others, non-students were also more likely to gamble and those that lived away from their parents were also likely to indulge themselves more than those who stay with their parents. Surveys done show that gambling in US varies across race for example the blacks, youths of mixed race and Asians are less likely to gamble than it is the case with the whites but if they happen to involve themselves in gambling, the problem becomes worse. "Black youth were less likely to have gambled than white youth; but if they gambled, it was likely to be more frequent (30 percent vs. 12 percent respectively)" (Medical News Today, 2009). Surveys also show that ones social economic determines whether one will become a gambler or not. Youths from lower socioeconomic status are more prone to gamble than those from higher socioeconomic class and the only explanation that can be given on this is that they do this so as to improve their financial status (Welte et al, 2008).
In short, it can be said that gambling is a growing problem among the youth in the United States and this is because of the fact that youth have access to the internet and that gaming is legal in US according to the federal laws. Both males and females are involved in gambling but few females are in what is called problem gambling. Social class also counts when it comes to gambling. As per researches, those in lower social class are more likely to be involved in gambling than those who are higher classes because they use it as a means of making the ends meet.
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