Underage Gambling - against the law

Various studies show that adult gamblers had placed their first bets illegally when under-aged. Around 15% of 16 and 17- year-olds have wagered mainly privately with friends or family. Others have bet illegally, on Keno, racing, and scratch cards, where the age limit is 18 years of age. GambleAware’s study shows that young people are more likely to adopt gambling if the parents were seen to bet. The more youngsters used social media and played video games, the more they switched to underage gambling.

Minors can be exposed to gambling anywhere and at any given time. Take the video games with gambling-style and the mini-games for in-game currency as examples. Even the amusement parks advertise the chance of winning in the form of toys. When you watch TV, several commercials can have gambling ads and push towards wagering. Underage gambling online is changing and both parents and casinos need to work towards preventing it in an early stage. There are more and more sites joining the battle to keep minors away from betting.

The underage gambling statistics show that with the internet and smart devices becoming more and more popular among minors, the chance of addictions increases. Some use their own money, some use their parent's accounts.

Gambling seems fun and it is when done wisely. That is the reason for the age restrictions in every country. Each gambling law jurisdiction is well-aware of how easy minors spot online betting. There are many reasons why their decision-making is not like the ones made by adults, especially when underage gambling addiction is involved.

The related enforcements are not always looking at underage gambling with sympathy. Even first-timers can be punished to the full extent of the law with various penalties. Online gambling sites take special care for preventing children bet on their websites. They work tightly with third-party organizations dealing firmly with underage gambling addictions.

The major reason is emotion control. They are not prepared to consider the consequences of underage gambling. The balance of emotion and logic when making healthy choices is not yet reached and they are more likely to act impulsively and take risks. Keep in mind that the decisions made by teenagers make sense to them. Teens across the globe show common behavior with three main approaches. They have increased novelty-seeking, risk-taking, and shift towards peer-based interactions. These behavioral changes provoke minors to become problem gamblers.

When they begin to gamble at 12 it is more likely to develop an addiction and can cause depression plus emotional stress. All that can lead to more devastating consequences of underage gambling. The risk of crime, abuse, and addiction is increased. Betting abuse can damage relationships and cause poor academic performance. The novelty-seeking can lead underage gamblers to bet money they do not have. The risk-taking behavior makes it much harder to walk away from the wager.

Countries that allow gambling have rigorous age requirements, which need to be met. With the development of online gambling, more and more minors get easily hooked on the idea of winning. However, each participant will get a penalty for underage gambling according to the local laws. The charges are usually displayed on the minor’s criminal record. 

What should parents do?

It is important to make sure to get involved as a parent, do not count only on the betting platform. After all, access to the internet is quick and easy for children today. It also requires a partnership with the parents, which will help with education about the risks of accessing illegal websites.

Keep your eyes open for the novelties in underage gambling like loot boxes and skins. Both are appearing on the online gaming scene. The loot boxes represent in-game packs with a random selection of consumable virtual items. The player can redeem to receive another selection of such items. Skins, on the other hand, are more in-game cosmetics. They change the appearance of characters, weapons, and more. The gambling element is hidden in the use of virtual goods, including skins. They don’t impact the gameplay, but minors use them as a virtual currency to bet on sports and games of chance.

It is possible to require an identity check, educate adults, verify users' ages, and so on to prevent underage gambling. 

It is known that new people take a look at their closest ones. To be clear, it is a higher chance to gamble if the child has parents or friends who gamble.

Be aware! 

Jan 17, 2022
Casino Industry