Youth Gambling in Atlantic Canada

This work is comprised of a two year program of cross-sectional research on youth gambling in CanadaAtlantic Lottery Corporation and Atlantic Canada. The research team will analyze data from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS). The research will focus on the data pertaining to youth gambling in Canada and Atlantic Canada to:

  1. Estimate the prevalence of youth gambling in Atlantic Canada for youth.
  2. Identify the individual risk factors associated with youth gambling.
  3. Identify the contextual risk factors associated with youth gambling.
  4. Examine the comorbidity of gambling with 'risky behaviours', including smoking, drug use, and low levels of physical activity and factors relevant to the mental health of youth.

Young people are increasingly being considered at risk for gambling problems in Canada and elsewhere. Canadian studies indicate that like adults, youth gamble often, however a larger proportion may be at risk of experiencing gambling problems. Unhealthy or problem gambling has been linked to many serious outcomes such as poorer mental health including depression and suicidality, criminal and delinquent behaviour, domestic violence, family dysfunction, financial troubles, and increased risk to developing multiple addictions.

Results of this study will contribute to our understanding of: the extent to which youth gambling is a problem in Atlantic Canada, the risk and protective factors associated with youth gambling, the extent to which youth gambling is associated with other 'risky behaviours' of youth, particularly smoking and alcohol abuse, and the areas in Atlantic Canada where there is a high prevalence of youth gambling. This work will support gambling prevention efforts by informing how best to design interventions aimed at reducing gambling by: describing who may be most in need of intervention, when interventions may be most beneficial, and where interventions are required.


Funded in part by the Atlantic Lottery Corporation

Research Team

  • Doug Willms
  • Dana Wilson