Web bookies ‘popular among young Americans’

The popularity of web-based bookies has risen in the UK over recent years and it seems the trend towards paid and free bets online is also growing across the Atlantic.Research conducted by the Annenberg Adolescent Communication Institute has found that American high school females and college-aged males are increasingly making use of such resources over the internet.

A survey carried out by the organisation revealed that 16 per cent of college-aged males have used bookies over the internet on a monthly basis.

This is a significant rise from the 4.4 per cent who reported such activity in 2008.

Meanwhile, high school-aged females tripled their use of paid and free bets over the web during this time. The figure was up from 0.5 per cent in 2008 to 1.5 per cent in the recent poll.

And it appears as though online gambling is taking over from more traditional forms of the activity since overall, the monthly and weekly rates of online and offline gambling put together fell for both high school and college-aged males compared with the 2008 survey.

Responding to the findings, which were based on a telephone poll of Americans aged between 14 and 22, institute director Dan Romer said they reflect that fact that young people are able to pay for the activities.

He remarked: “The dramatic increase in use of online gambling by college-aged male youth indicates that payment restrictions on such sites are no longer a barrier to young people.”

The Adolescent Communication Institute was established as part of the Annenberg Public Policy Centre eight years ago and it aims to promote healthy youth development by educating the public, academics and policymakers about the latest scientific advances in reducing risks to adolescent health.

Its findings, which are based on national surveys and externally funded research, are communicated via books, scientific reports and on the internet.

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