How to protect your child from gambling?
Even though underage gambling is completely prohibited by law in Canada, statistics show that the number of teenagers who tend to engage in betting activities in school and at home has become an international concern in recent years. The rate of gambling addiction in people aged 14-19 is seven times higher than in adults.
After conducting a recent study on children behavior, Canadian researchers have drawn the following conclusions:
In the photo below, we’ve showcased some concerning underaged gambling statistics from The Recovery Village:
With this in mind, you’re probably wondering how to protect your child from underage gambling. Don’t worry! Our team of specialists has been thoroughly researching this topic, aiming to help you identify problem gambling behavior and prevent it by using communication and tools that can block specific content from being shown to your infant.
What are the most common types of gambling amongst children?
As a parent, you should know that games of chances are not the only activity that can influence your children’s behavior towards gambling. Let’s have a look at the most common reasons why a teenager could become addicted to gambling:
Websites using Gamification
The term gamification refers to a marketing technique in which websites use gaming elements(progress bar, level, experience) to attract younger audiences. Recently, most websites have been implementing gamification in their user interface, resulting in children being exposed to gambling activities without even knowing.
On top of that, many untrustworthy sites tend to take advantage of the fact that children are attracted by online activities that mimic gambling, so they invest in spammy pop-up ads that might trick underaged individuals into registering on a shady website or even installing malware on their device.
That’s why you need to protect your child by monitoring and restricting their online browsing activity without being too intrusive. More on that later in this article.
Social media influencers
The Internet is an excellent place for entertainment, but remember that most renowned influencers, especially YouTubers, make money from partnering with various brands and websites. While this might sound logical, as a parent, you should be advised that some of the deals that Youtube influencers make are harmful to children since some of the products they promote are similar to gambling but allow underaged visitors to join the action.
An example of such promotion is the scandal that happened a few years ago when “mystery box” openings were trending on the Internet. Big influencers, such as Jake Paul (who has over 20 million subscribers on Youtube), were advertising Mystery Brand, a business that went bankrupt. This company was charging users for digital boxes filled with random objects, ranging from keychains to perfume or sneakers.
In addition to the fact that many of the users of websites similar to Mystery Brand reported that they never got their product or arrived months later without tracking information, the mystery box trend was a bad influence for children involved in gambling-like activities. Luckily, Google took action and shut down these businesses because influencers encouraged children to deposit using their parent’s credit card.
Another way through which social media influencers promote gambling addiction is through affiliate marketing offers. For every user that joins through their affiliate link, the influencer receives a commission, which essentially encourages addictive behavior for profit.
Online gaming microtransactions
Have you ever wondered why online gambling is so attractive for your children? Well, most online games use gambling mechanisms to create addiction. For instance, these games charge real money to acquire items that will help the player progress.
But be aware that there is a crucial difference between a DLC(downloadable content), which asks players to pay a specific amount to receive additional levels and characters, and a microtransaction, which usually takes the form of loot boxes with randomized rewards
If you know that your child is an online gamer, watch out for these elements, which are scientifically proven to influence addictive gambling behavior:
Now that you have a better understanding of how the Internet can influence gambling addiction in children, it’s time to find out the solutions our specialists found that can help you prevent underage gambling behavior.
How to Protect Your Children and Monitor Their Internet Activity
Even though some of the solutions that we will showcase below might seem too intrusive, psychologists suggest that monitoring your child’s online activity is crucial in preventing gambling behavior. According to Marc Etches, founder of GambleAware, children are growing up in a different world than their parents. We all share the responsibility to prevent the harmful influence of gambling.
Here are the leading solutions for protecting your infant from online gambling:
Explain Gambling to Your Child
Suppose you want your child to understand that gambling is harmful and can form dangerously addictive behavior. In that case, you have to approach them and explain how it all works. Here are a few of the topics that you should mention to your child when talking about gambling:
Be aware: Even though casino technology has evolved to a point where they no longer allow underaged users to register, there are still free games that use gambling-like features. Examples of such games include Candy Crush Saga or Clash Royale. These popular free games allow in-app purchases for loot boxes and can potentially influence addictive behavior.
How to Identify Gambling Addiction
Psychologists suggest that there are some gambling addiction warning signs that you, as a parent, should always look out for. First of all, if you notice that your child spends too much time on online gambling sites and neglects their relationship with friends and family, you should start taking action right away.
On top of that, if you notice that your child has stolen money from you or sold his belongings to deposit on gaming sites, he has already been exposed to gambling behavior, meaning that you should restrict their internet usage right away.
If the child becomes angry over the fact that he lost money on loot boxes or that you forbade access to this type of website, you should reach out to a responsible gambling association and start counseling, which will help them overcome addiction. Taking care of gambling addiction early on can prevent the behavior from carrying on into adulthood.
Three Tips to protect your kid from gambling addiction
Even though the technology is helping us evolve as a society, its addictive design can be concerning. Recent studies show that, on average, Canadian spend an average of 4.2 hours per day on the computer, 3.1 hours watching TV, and 2.4 hours looking at their smartphones.
With people spending nearly 11 hours daily on technology, addictive behavior has become more common. As a parent, you want what’s best for your child, so you have to adapt and implement new strategies that can stop them in their tracks from becoming addicted.
Here are three tips that can help you restrict the internet usage of your children:
The bottom line
Underaged gambling is a real problem, and the risk of your child being exposed to gaming platforms is increasing as technology advances. Use the advice mentioned in this article to keep the addiction from happening. If you feel like your child is addicted to gambling, seek help from a health professional that can offer you guidance and a solution to your problem.
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