Children are experiencing gambling without understanding the consequences, says Gambling Commission
New research published by the Gambling Commission raises concerns that children are experiencing gambling in situations where the risks are not always explained. The data raises questions about the long term impact for children whose early experiences of gambling are in a consequence-free environment.
The figures show that new technology is providing children with opportunities to experience gambling behaviours through products, such as free-to-play casino games, social media or within some computer games, which do not have the same level of protections or responsible gambling messages as regulated gambling products.
The report also shows that the most common forms of gambling amongst children – bets between friends, playing fruit machines in pubs and clubs, and buying National Lottery scratchcards – are happening in locations that do not need to be regulated to provide gambling.
Tim Miller, Gambling Commission Executive Director said “We require gambling operators to have strong protections in place to prevent children from accessing their products and are actively reviewing how some, like age verification, can continue to be strengthened.
“However, it is clear that many children’s experiences of gambling-style activities are coming from the playground, the games console or social media rather than the bookmaker, the casino or the gambling website. That’s why it is essential that we work across industries and with parents so that together we can protect children and encourage those that choose to gamble in adulthood to do so safely.”