Day At The Track

Kids start gambling as young as 11

05:09 AM 31 Jan 2021 NZDT
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Children Gambling, harness racing
There are no age restrictions for gambling in video games, despite potential risks to children

Children as young as 11 are gambling for money and playing video games and apps that simulate betting – and parents are most often funding and enabling them.

About 40 per cent of NSW children aged 12 to 17 are playing video games and apps with features that look and feel like gambling, according to major research commissioned for the NSW Office of Responsible Gambling. It surveyed 551 young people and held a range of focus groups.

Although underage gambling is illegal, about 30 per cent of these young people had bet for money in the past year. The most popular gambling activity was informal betting such as poker, often played at school or TAFE. The balance was commercial gambling such as sports betting, scratchies and lottery tickets.

The director of NSW’s Office of Responsible Gambling Natalie Wright said the results showed that gambling among young people was more prevalent than ever.

The increasing convergence of gaming and gambling was increasing the potential for gambling harm. Many video games and apps encourage children to spend real or virtual money to open loot boxes, digital grab bags that may include skins (costumes for characters) and weapons.

“Games are exposing young children to gambling at a much earlier age. And parents are the biggest enablers,” she said. “These games which mimic real gambling are potentially gateways to traditional gambling for young people,” Ms Wright said.

By Julie Power

To read the full article click on this link

Young people and gambling
Source: NSW Youth Gambling Study 2020 (survey respondents were aged 12-17).
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