New GambleAware Report Raises Concerns Over Children’s Exposure to Gambling Content

gambleaware study on kidsA recent report released by GambleAware has highlighted significant concerns regarding the pervasive nature of gambling and gambling-like content in the online spaces frequented by children. GambleAware, a leader in commissioning gambling harm prevention and treatment services in Great Britain, is advocating for stricter regulations on gambling advertising both online and in public spaces to safeguard young individuals.

The findings of the report suggest that gambling is perceived by children as a normal part of life, often introduced through mediums like horse racing, scratch cards, and the National Lottery. However, a more insidious form of gambling content is present in online games featuring gambling-like elements such as loot boxes. These features, coupled with the engaging and vibrant nature of gambling advertisements, blur the lines between gaming and gambling, making them indistinguishable to the young audience.

One notable revelation from the study is the confusion among children regarding the risks associated with online gambling. This confusion is exacerbated by the gambling-like activities present in games they play, such as loot boxes, which do not clearly distinguish themselves from actual gambling practices.

A 15-16-year-old participant in the study remarked, “They make it look like a game, it does not look like gambling.”

The report also sheds light on the need for enhanced educational efforts regarding gambling harms in schools. Many young participants expressed a desire for more comprehensive information about gambling risks and available support mechanisms.

A 13-14-year-old girl noted the inadequacy of current educational approaches, saying, “PHSE said it [gambling] is dangerous… but it didn’t proper like get through because they didn’t give us a lot of information about it.”

GambleAware’s findings are underpinned by previous research indicating that while a high percentage of children are aware of gambling marketing, a much smaller fraction recognizes the health warnings associated with such advertisements. The early exposure to gambling activities, often facilitated by family members, raises concerns about the long-term impact on children’s susceptibility to gambling problems.

Zoë Osmond, CEO of GambleAware, emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating, “This research shows that gambling content is now part of many children’s lives. This is worrying as early exposure to gambling can normalise it for children at a young age, and lead to problems.”

Experts involved in the study, including Hanna Chalmers of CultureStudio Research and Nicki Karet of Sherbert Research, echoed the need for regulatory measures to mitigate the exposure of children to gambling content and ensure that gambling does not negatively impact their lives.

Dr. Barbie Clarke of Family Kids & Youth highlighted the particular vulnerability of certain children due to developmental and cognitive differences, which necessitate targeted protective measures to prevent gambling harms.

The report concludes with a call for immediate action to shield children from the potential adverse effects of gambling, reflecting a growing consensus on the need for regulatory overhaul to address the evolving landscape of gambling and gaming.

Editorial: Addressing Child Safety in Online Gambling Spaces

As a platform that discusses online gambling sites not on Gamstop, we prioritize the interests and preferences of experienced gamblers who seek to explore their options beyond the constraints imposed by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). It’s important to clarify that our content is crafted with the understanding that our readers are informed, responsible adults. Furthermore, we do not advertise gambling directly; instead, we provide information to those who are searching for it.

As adults and members of the wider online community, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that the internet remains a safe space for its youngest users. The blend of gambling and gaming in formats that appeal to children, such as bright animations and interactive elements typically found in video games, must be addressed with urgency. This blend not only confuses children but also risks normalizing gambling activities at an inappropriately young age.

Given the seriousness of these findings, we at NotGamstop.Com pledge to take all possible measures to ensure that our content is not accessible to underage audiences. This commitment includes rigorous age verification processes and clear disclaimers at the outset of our digital presence, stating that our content is intended for adults only. Additionally, we support calls for better regulation of online gambling content to prevent it from being inadvertently accessed by young individuals.