Children at risk of becoming problem gamblers

By Jesse Barrett

Everyone has been introduced to betting in one way or another. But not everyone knows how damaging betting can be to our society. If you gamble long term, you are not a winner. You can’t be …

Most popular games contain gambling. Loot boxes, for instance, allow customers to spend real money on randomized in-game items. These loot boxes have no value besides “in game” and most of the time they can’t be traded back for money. Studies have shown the link between loot boxes and problem gamblers. About a third of children who use loot boxes go on to become problem gamblers.

The loot box mechanic has grown from 8% to 86% in just nine years. This has led to calls for countries to ban them, with Belgium being the first country to ban loot boxes all together.

We use odds way too much when it’s not needed. Odds are used to see who the favourite to win is. These are always in dollars amounts. Children also see this and compare.

There is no need for a child to know the dollar value of who’s going to win. The odds of a sporting game should be in a percentage, we should be able to enjoy sports without being subject to betting.

Celebrities and influences shouldn’t promote betting. I mean we have all seen the ads. Whether they are on TV, social media or on some random site, we have all seen a celebrity promoting betting. If we see it, children are definitely seeing it. Studies have shown a significant statically increase in youth gambling when a celebrity or influencers were used in the ad.

It’s sad to think that these people we look up to are promoting these services to everyone without thinking of the consequences. They are just thinking about the pay cheque.

Betting is over-glorified in many ways. We are always seeing pictures and stories about people winning loads of money off a single massive bet. This is not the case. Adults and children need to be more aware about how low the odds of winning big are. The chances to win division 1 Powerball are 1 in 134,490,400.

We can bet on anything. When I say anything, I mean anything you can think of. Clearly, we have become that desperate as a society that we need to bet on everything for entertainment. We are being involuntarily shown gambling content and it drives us. Between 2017-2018 the average Australian lost $1260 per year, with $24.88 billion lost in total.

The youth are being shown betting way too young. In Australia you must wait till you’re 18 to bet. But that doesn’t mean that children aren’t being shown gambling content.

At the end of the day betting is an addiction. We have treatment for people who have lost all their money, this is family and friends. Betting can ruin lives. Children do not need any reason to see or hear about betting.

Featured image: Hitting big on the loot boxes. Picture:

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