Gambling research is largely focused on problem and pathological gambling by adults, while young people's gambling pursuits and the social context in which gambling knowledge and skills are established are less well researched, despite it being acknowledged that young people participate in and start their gambling activities at an early age. This paper explores young people's experiences of gambling activities within a social and family recreational framework in two Australian rural communities. The gambling construct is used in a wide inclusive context ranging from buying of raffle tickets to participation in casino gambling. The empirical data were collated through a self-administered questionnaire distributed during school time to high school students between the ages of 14 and 21 years in 2003. The research shows that young people are introduced to social and recreational gambling within the family context where parents, siblings and older friends facilitate the financial transaction process. Young males are more active overall than females in pursuing gambling activities in all areas except horse betting and keno gambling.