Gambling has been one of the most fun hobbies since the beginning of time. With the inception of the internet, gambling has become much easier for adults, but unfortunately, for children as well. A study from 2017 tells us that more than half a million children and young people are enjoying online gambling.
Is it something to brag about?
By young people, we refer to those younger than 18 or 16, depending on the legal age of your jurisdiction. The main culprit for this, as many claim, are free-to-play casino games and even video games in general.
While games can be fun, enticing, and educational, some aspects of them are not suited for children. One of them is the ability to gamble on certain in-game items.
Do Children Gamble on Online Casinos?
Online casinos in the UK are not allowed to let any underage person gamble. Therefore, our youngest persons aren’t gambling on these sites. Instead, most of their gambling adventures happen outside of them, either through a smartphone, computer, or live.
Numerous reports give plenty of information regarding this problem. What they say is that children usually gamble at places with no gambling regulation. That is between themselves, scratch cards, fruit machines, and so forth.
Scratch cards, for example, can be bought in your local market and they’re very cheap. Yet, they’re still a form of gambling.
The Gambling Commission states that non-regulated sites and online places have almost no protection when it comes to gambling. The UKGC imposes harshest fees to online casinos and bookmakers that don’t adhere to the gambling laws in the UK.
They review each operator and do frequent checks, to make sure that children aren’t gambling online. But, their control goes no farther than that. What about traditional PC or console games?
Betting on Game Skins
Have you ever heard about game skins betting? Or perhaps, game items betting. This is a #1 source of betting and gambling for children that can be detrimental, even more so than traditional betting on an online casino.
Basically, children will bet on a particular skin for the game, which means that they can wrap their weapon or character in some sort of skin or attire. Sometimes, skins are used as a virtual currency, and sometimes, sites enable the option to gamble on skins through slot games.
You bet real money, spin the slots, and hope to get the skin you want.
We don’t have anything about games. In fact, over 50% of UK residents play them. What the problem is, though, this in-game betting that usually attracts children from the age of 11 to 16. Statistics showed that more than 10% of them participated in this form of gambling.
As of now, the UKGC still didn’t take any measures to fight this form of betting. However, it claims that it plans to deal with video games as this topic is at the top of its priorities list.
Until that happens, we implore parents that are reading this to talk to their children and see if they participate in this form of gambling. It’s crucial that we all fight irresponsible gambling to make sure that we keep our welfare and resources in check.