Changes in minors’ gambling on slot machines in Finland after the raising of the minimum legal gambling age from 15 to 18 years: A repeated cross-sectional study

AIM – The legal gambling age in Finland was raised from 15 to 18 years in 2010, but slot machines were given a transition period that ended with the full law coming into effect on 1 July 2011. The widespread accessibility of slot machines and their popularity among youth led us to consider how age limit was enforced in the Finnish gambling monopoly system and to analyse how underage gambling on slot machines changed after the raising of the minimum age.

METHODS – Two nationwide cross-sectional surveys were conducted in 2011 and 2013 (12–18-year-olds; N=8101; average response rate 42%). The main measure was self-reported six-month prevalence of slot machine use overall and by venue (shops; kiosks; petrol stations; restaurants/cafés; ship travels to Sweden/Estonia; other). Changes from 2011 to 2013 were tested by using the χ2 tests and multivariate logistic regression analyses. As a reference group only, 18-year-olds were analysed, as they were of legal age to gamble.

Source: Raisamo, S., Warpenius, K., & Rimpelä, A. (2015). Changes in minors’ gambling on slot machines in Finland after the raising of the minimum legal gambling age from 15 to 18 years: A repeated cross-sectional study. Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 32(6), 579–590.

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