Факултет политичких наука Универзитета у Сарајеву
HABITS AND FREQUENCY OF (ONLINE) GAMBLING AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Gambling of young people as a risky behavior is an increasingly current social problem, but also the subject of numerous researches. The gambling industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, and a significant increase in availability has taken place in the Bosnian and Herzegovinan society. Young people in BiH are entering the world of gambling more often and easier. Bad economic situation, social unrest, high poverty and unemployment rates contribute to this situation. World statistics show that the increase in gambling was significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Omnipresent digitalization during the pandemic, movement restrictions, but also existential uncertainty have opened a new path to online gambling. Therefore, an research was conducted in which the habits of young people (N=174) and their frequency of (online) gambling were examined. The questionnaire results showed that 70.5% of respondents had played games of chance at least once in their lives. Young people usually play one-time tickets and sports betting. Of particular concern is the fact that individuals play online games of chance on a daily basis. They usually invest a smaller amount of money and more than half of the respondents have lost money on betting at least once. The data show that gambling is most often out of boredom, fun and socializing, and they do not consider such behavior to be problematic. According to self-assessment, only 5.9% of respondents believe that their gambling is somewhat or completely problematic, while 3.7% state that the degree of gambling addiction is so high that they need professional help. On the other hand, Bosnia and Herzegovina lacks prevention programs aimed at problematic youth gambling, which is why they remain deprived of professional support. All of this suggests that serious investment in public health and social policies is needed to offer quality prevention and psychoeducational programs.