Growing Number of Children in the UK are Getting into Gambling, Commission Finds
A new research revealing that a growing number of children are involved in gambling has left the UK alarmed. In the past week alone, nearly 12% of children have gambled online as per the findings of the Gambling Commission of the UK. Nearly 25,000 children have been found to be problem gamblers, which is a matter of grave concern for the British government. These children are aged between 11 and 16. In fact, most of these children are even found to gamble through licensed agencies.
The news is alarming for a number of reasons, most importantly health and economic reasons. The children found gambling are found to spend about 10 pounds a week on gambling, which raises serious concerns about how the kids are managing whatever little money they have. If this continues to grow, the problem will possibly spill out into other areas, causing problems of basic necessities, mainly food and shelter. The Commission has warned that the future of Britain is “sleepwalking into a future public health storm”.
While the Commission has pointed out several points that play a crucial role in introducing the children to gambling, the predominant of them is online games. Online games allow the kids to trade in items such as weapons, ammunition and so on, which have value in terms of real money. Needless to say, once hooked on to the games, gambling through them becomes inevitable. This kind of betting is popularly known as Skins Betting, and is one of the most common forms of betting among British children.
“Computer gaming with gambling presents real future challenges to the current regulatory framework. We’ve been saying for some time we have concerns about the normalization of gambling for young people and this report absolutely bears that out”, says Chief Executive of GambleAware, Marc Etches. As such, Britain is very liberal when it comes to gambling laws. However, organizations such as GambleAware are demanding more regulations on gambling for the younger generation. For Etches, the findings of the report have only underlined the need for this demand to be met.
Tracey Crouch, the Minister for Gambling, pointed out that the protection of children is of ‘utmost importance’ to the ministry, and pointed out that there are already plenty of rules and regulations to prevent children from getting into gambling. “Internet gambling has grown rapidly and the Gambling Commission needs to take the strongest possible action to make sure the rules are enforced”, Crouch added, urging the Commission to ensure a better implementation of the laws.