fears over online casinos addictions
Gambling at online casinos
and betting at online sports-books is quickly becoming a
favorite pastime of teenagers, some who are under the legal age
to bet online. But often, with this easy access to online
casinos and the large sums of money available for betting,
gambling online comes at a very high price for those involved.
Since gambling at online casinos doesn’t seem as dangerous as
trying drugs or drinking too much alcohol, many kids don’t
equate it on the same level of addiction and thus they have no
idea of the risks and the habits they are forming.
Furthermore, besides online casinos, it is clear that children
in the United Kingdom are spending almost £6 every week on the
National Lottery, a report revealed.
Thousands of youngsters blow their own money on a variety of
gambling activities including fruit machines, scratch cards and
personal bets, as well as online casinos.
And the amount they spend on lottery tickets has increased from
£3.22 in 2000 to £5.73 today.
Fruit machines are the most popular form of underage gambling
with nearly half 12 to 15-year-olds playing them in the last
year, but online casinos will become more popular soon, experts
Placing private bets for money and buying scratch cards were the
second and third most popular forms, with online casinos gaining
Almost three quarters (73%) of the 8,000 youngsters questioned
had gambled at some stage during their lifetimes, whether at
online casinos or not.
And a quarter (26%) had spent their own money on some form of
gambling (like online casinos) the week before being questioned
for the National Lottery Commission's report.
Although some parents might view these relatively minor bets as
harmless fun, experts say they are often the first step in what
can become a big problem.
Barbara Meachen, a counsellor in Wales with gambling charity
GamCare, said, "A lot of the clients we see started gambling
quite young, usually on fruit machines, and go from there.
She added that gambling was an increasing problem in the digital
age, with online casinos now taking center stage.
"It's so easy now, you can take a credit card in and gamble on
that, you can gamble on the internet," she said. "It's very
easy, you don't even have to leave your own home."
Of the 8,017 youngsters questioned, those classed as "problem"
gamblers was down from 4.9% in 2000 to 3.5% today.
And only 12% of young people had played a National Lottery draw
game in the past year compared to 26% in 2000.
Many who play at online casinos have this gambling addiction but
don’t realize it until it’s too late. Cases in the United
Kingdom recently have shown that many teens and college aged
students have used their parents’ funds or credit cards to
gamble at online casinos. But the online casinos are at fault,
some say, for advertising to kids. Online casinos were not
included in this specific report, however.