The thought of your kids gambling online is furthest on your parent radar. But recent disclosures have shown an increase in online casino brands targeting kids via their favourite cartoons and cartoon characters. The Gambling Commission released stats showing an estimated 450 000 kids were found to be gambling weekly!
These shocking results have sparked outrage from parents worldwide. According to the investigation, online casino operators are exploiting a loophole and are not actually in breach of the Gambling Commission rules.
Despite the loophole, studies have shown a link between early gambling and high-risk behaviour. The high-risk behaviour associated with early age gambling includes poor academic performance, frequent truancy and continuous borrowing of money and even theft to finance gambling addictions.
Try as you may, but it is simply impossible to have your eyes on your kids 24/7. Hence, regulatory bodies need to be more than paper pushers.
Not kidding around – the rise of kids gambling online
The nature of online casinos is convenient due to its increasing availability. With mobile gambling surpassing desktop gaming, mobile devices bring gambling into your living room and your dining table! According to a report that was released last November, 6% of 11-15-year olds engaged in online gambling using money from their parent’s bank accounts. Moreover, was the fact that the kids also gambled with their own money.
In addition to the stats and money used, the investigation found that many games can be played for free, without confirming age. By comparison, many online casinos use the free play feature as a selling point, but in this case, the feature is the total opposite.
Online casino brands implicated in targeting kids
Although this study is focused on online casino operators in Britain, the companies implicated are world-renowned. For example, 888 finds itself in the public eye once again, among other mega casino brands are Casinoland and PaddyPower.
The games include childhood favourite – Jack and the Beanstalk, Peter Pan and Moon Princess.
Chief executive of Remote Gambling Association (RGA), Clive Hawkswood, said: “the gambling industry was not targeting kids”. RGA represents William Hill and 888. However, 888 along with the other casino brands implicated have yet to release statements regarding the results.
The Gambling Commission said it would be reviewing the rules relating to the lure of kids to online gambling.