Gambling in children is a serious issue which can lead to even bigger problems if it is not solved or reduced. Lately, a lot of children want to try online or land based slot machines or card games and they often play on real money.
It is illegal for children to gamble until they turn at least 18. Check below some statistics and pieces of advice either if you are a parent struggling with this problem in your child or if you just want to be informed about this problem.
Gambling and Children
The Responsible Gaming Strategy Board (RGSB) has shown its interest in helping the world fight against the harmful effects of gambling in children and young people.
In this direction, they wrote nine principles with rights and obligations for young people and their families:
- Gambling is an activity for adults;
- Children and adults experience harm differently and young people can be harmed both by the gambling of others and their own gabling;
- Prevention should always be effective;
- Protecting children from gambling should be a priority;
- The extensive exposure of children to gambling advertising is one of the main problems;
- Marketing advertisments should not be particularly appealing to children;
- Children have the right to inform about gambling’s risks;
- Parents should have a main role in reducing the risks of gambling;
- Children should be able to access help.
In addtition to these principles, the UK Gambling Comission stated that it is their responsability to protect children and young people from the harmness gambling could cause, along with families, comunities, and government.
Children Gambling in the UK
In the UK, 25 000 children aged 11-16 are categorized as problem gamblers, while 36 000 are at risk.
Even though traditional fruit slot machines occupy the first place in the top gambling products used by children, with the second place belonging to the National Lottery, online gambling becomes more and more popular and widely spread.
The exposure to gambling surveiled not only from traditional methods, like slots, poker tables or roulettes, but also from the social media and eSports. Moreover, the marketing strategists often use bright colours that might seem attractive to children and young people.
What Can I Do to Protect My Child?
There are several methods through which you are able to control and protect your child from entering gambling websites or other dangerous links:
- Talk to your child about gambling, the dangers it can provoke and the risks implied;
- Use some child-protection programs on his computer or mobile device so he cannot enter certain websites;
- Remind your kid that gambling at his age is illegal and he can suffer a lot if he is caught;
- Always keep an eye on your cards and ensure that your child never uses them without asking for permission.