Teenagers who play simulated digital gambling games could be at risk of becoming problem gamblers, researchers say.
A University of Adelaide survey found 40 per cent of teens who played simulated gambling games reported a preoccupation or intention to gamble in the future with many accessing games through social media, smartphone apps and video games.
Researcher Daniel King said not all teens who played would become problem gamblers but early exposure could accelerate the risk.
"For a vulnerable segment of the youth population there's a risk that these could accelerate their gambling career or at least set up faulty expectations," Dr King said.
Games marketed to young people aimed at making gambling accessible and familiar, he said.
"The real strategy is to engage young people in gambling applications, developing their familiarity with the game, have them learn the fundamentals of gambling and offer an easy way to transition from that form of gambling to money-based gambling."
The research surveyed 1287 teenagers between 12-17.
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