Children are particularly vulnerable to gaming machines addiction. It was reported in 1991 that high spending and frequent use of fruit machines was reliably associated with socially undesirable behaviour like borrowing money, stealing from parents, and even selling possessions to finance the habit.
In the United Kingdom, under-16s, and sometimes under-18s, are supposed to be barred from arcades, although these restrictions do not apply in seaside towns or to machines outside arcades. A 1991 survey suggested, nevertheless, that nearly half a million 13 to 16-year-olds visited arcades once a week or more, and that another half million played fruit machines outside arcades at least once a week. More than one in three of the 11 to 12-year-olds surveyed used fruit machines. Most regular gamblers were boys.