Home » Why Online Gambling Affects Kids — And What To Do About It

Why Online Gambling Affects Kids — And What To Do About It

by Uneeb Khan

Although the legal age for gambling in the United States is 18 or 21, kids as young as 11 are becoming exposed — and addicted — to casinos. Figures released at the end of 2021 point to an alarming trend. What should parents do?

Why Online Casinos Are Accessible to Kids

According to Katie Paul, the director of the nonprofit Tech Transparency Project (TTP), accessibility of iGambling has increased over the past decade. Kids are exposed to ads regardless of age.

Platforms compliant with industry requirements won’t allow your kid to check the house of pokies 2022 or any other games. They also prohibit or restrict ads by age. Unfortunately, this is not the case across the board. Some casinos are either unwilling or unable to enforce the necessary limitations.

This claim is backed by data. In 2021, TTP ran a Facebook ad test three times. The organization submitted ads and had all of them approved in just a few hours. The ads targeted teenagers and promoted inappropriate topics, including casinos. This shows that the tech giant still allows advertisers to target the youngest users, despite its claims to the contrary.

Other surveys and studies highlight the same problem — more and more kids are exposed to such ads. In the UK, a 2021 study involving over 600 participants between the ages of 11 and 78 revealed that almost 50% of kids see casino and sports betting ads weekly, and 25% see them daily.

The Appeal of Dangerous Ads

What’s even more alarming, the youngest users find these ads more appealing. In the above-mentioned study, underage Twitter users found these ads four times more attractive than the adults, who the ads were actually targeting.

According to Mike Robb, the senior director of research at Common Sense Media, ads for casinos and sportsbooks are appealing to young audiences as they use humour, memes, or celebrity endorsement. This is the key driver of popularity among underage users.

Even YouTube shows such promotions. This was revealed in a 2020 study conducted by Ipsos Mori and the University of Stirling in the U.K. Well over half — 66% — of participants aged 11-24 reported seeing gambling ads on the video-sharing platform, Facebook, and other social media.

Unhindered Access

Even in the US, which prohibits operating online casinos, kids can access dangerous sites. Residents are free to gamble online on offshore platforms. In addition, the restrictions under The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act do not concern fantasy sports leagues. Since 2018, each state has been able to make its own laws on sports betting.

Online sports betting is currently available in 29 states. This list includes:

  • Arizona,
  • Colorado,
  • Illinois,
  • New Jersey,
  • Nevada,
  • Mississippi,
  • Tennessee,
  • Virginia,
  • the District of Columbia,
  • and other locations.

Only 6 states allow online casinos: Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Although all legal businesses impose age restrictions, they don’t always enforce them properly.

Circumvention of Restrictions

In another 2021 experiment, TTP staff created a simulated account of a 14-year-old user and managed to download a gambling app. What’s more, they also succeeded in depositing and withdrawing money. This clearly shows insufficient enforcement.

Symptoms of Gambling Addiction

Picking up on this form of addiction is not easy. Generally, look out for symptoms resembling those of substance addictions like drugs or alcohol. Gambling affects day-to-day functioning, including school performance and extracurricular activities. The following behaviour should raise suspicion:

  • Asking parents for money more often than usual;
  • Skipping school;
  • Seeming sad, anxious, or distracted;
  • Loss of interest in activities your kid previously enjoyed;
  • Withdrawal from friends and family;
  • Missing valuables.

Most parents who notice these symptoms send their kids for a drug test and drop the issue if it comes back negative. This is not enough. Look for distinct signs of gambling addiction:

  • Your kid has expensive items and the extra money you didn’t give them.
  • You find casino apps on their smartphone or casino sites in browser history.
  • They demonstrate an increased interest in sports scores.
  • They know typical betting terms like “line”, “spread” and “arbing”.
  • During sporting events, they check their phones constantly.
  • Whenever someone talks about betting or casinos, they feel excited

How to Discuss Gambling

Ask your kid what they know about gambling, but make the conversation natural. Teenagers don’t appreciate lectures, so don’t aim to cover everything in one sitting. You could use a casino ad as a cue to discuss the topic. If your kid has a problem, reach out to Gambler’s Anonymous, or a therapist specializing in this form of addiction.

Related Posts

MarketGit logo

Marketgit is the best and most trustworthy resource for technology, telecom, business, digital marketing, auto news, Mobile & apps review in World.

Contact us: marketgit.com@gmail.com

@2022 – Marketgit. All Right Reserved. Designed by MarketGit Team