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It’s not just social networks that are captivating more and more young people. Gaming is also becoming increasingly popular. There are unproblematic games that promise a certain learning success and promote social skills. At the same time, young people are increasingly consuming games that can be classified as problematic, including games of chance in online casinos. These dubious trends are to be counteracted by measures of protection.
When Does A Game And Gambling In Online Casinos Become Problematic?
Especially among children and young people between the ages of 12 and 17, those games that involve a financial outlay are particularly risky. In this case, the provider of the game deliberately integrates cost traps into the gameplay to make it attractive in some way and thus encourage the children to buy. A psychological component in particular also comes into play here. Also, the use of those online Casinos, which offer little secured their services on the market, form a doubtful direction. A secure framework for online casinos creates a permit from the EU. So you should make sure that the online casinos are at least equipped with an EU license
Dubious Trends: Gambling Elements And Financial Aspects
Teenagers are one of the most important target groups of the computer gaming industry. They are easily seduced and influenced due to their stage of development. Monetary aspects such as the additional purchase of player enhancements or time-limited items strongly bind children to a game course
Loot boxes, in-game currencies, and 1-click purchases also encourage young players to make financial investments in their pastimes.
In terms of embellishments to the storyline or the game protagonists, young people are also spending more money.
Children And Young People As Consumers Of Online Casino Games?
The path from cost-generating video games often leads to online casinos. The anonymity of the Internet lures to disguise a non-adulthood and to consume the offer of online casinos.
The State Treaty on Gambling regulates the organizational framework of online casinos. Officially, gambling is only permitted to adults. It is the responsibility of the owners of the platforms to exclude children and adolescents under the age of 18 from using them through suitable and reliable identification and authentication measures. Since young people can be inventive and sometimes use their parents’ identification documents, complete protection is not always guaranteed even with the best technical personalization mechanisms.
Here, it is advisable to look for an operator with a European license, as this offers protective framework conditions to prevent misuse and ensure security
In addition, the parents and guardians of a child share the responsibility to protect against unauthorized gambling for real money.
Unauthorized Advertising On Social Networks
The trend of advertising gambling to children should be viewed extremely critically. This is not permitted but can be found in a disguised form on platforms such as Twitch or social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. This advertising is not always declared as such. On the Twitch platform, for example, streamers can be watched while playing live. Followers of the streamers see how sums of money are won in a supposedly simple and uncomplicated way. Possible financial losses tend not to be mentioned.
This implies messages in the brain of the viewers. These can suggest that gambling is safe and a good way to earn some pocket money without much effort
The advertising deals behind these actions, with which YouTubers earn money, are difficult for the youthful viewers to recognize.
The Twitch platform is trying to curb this trend with measures such as time limits on streaming and a broadcast time only after midnight to better protect young people.
Meanwhile, advertising on social networks must also be labeled as such, but this is often difficult for young people to assess due to their lack of awareness.
The risk of gambling addiction tends to be higher among children compared to adults because, unlike adults, they have a harder time assessing the consequences of their actions and coming to an end in an ongoing game. Adolescents are more willing to take risks and are less cautious and far-sighted. The quest for social recognition and fame also makes young people follow such You-Tuber actions, because You-Tubers are their respected idols and, in their perception, authentic stars. They look up to them, and these often act as role models and orientations for their behavior.
Due to the gaming component, online casino games on social network platforms cannot be banned outright. In any case, it needs the enlightening and attentive conversation from the personal environment of the young person about the possible risks of those.
What Are The Warning Signs Of An Incipient Addiction?
● Altered Contact
The adolescent increasingly seeks solitude and avoids encounters with others. He withdraws more and more and is almost only focused on gaming.
● No Other Leisure Activities
Besides gaming, the affected person hardly takes part in any other actions. The time spent using games steadily spreads out and overshadows all other opportunities for leisure activities.
● A New Daily Structure
The previous day-night rhythm often reverses vehemently. Children sleep much less and place their entire temporal focus on play.
● Impaired Impulse Control
Not playing or not having access to it puts children in emotional distress. They react with unusual intensity with anger and aggression. Depressive states may also set in and block the child’s other traits.
● Sloppy Carelessness
Previously fixed tasks and obligations are hardly paid attention to or forgotten because gaming very much takes over the thinking. Concentration on everyday factors such as homework diminishes greatly
● Lack Of Self-reflection
The adolescent can no longer independently discuss his or her usage behavior. A neutral and realistic assessment of the prevailing situation will hardly be possible anymore.
Helpful Tips For Parents:
→ Make Gambling A Topic Of Discussion
In addition to keeping a watchful eye on your child’s Internet use, it would be advisable to openly communicate the topic of gambling as well as the dangers that can arise from it. Also, make it clear that these can only be used legally from the age of majority.
→ Outside Education Is Complementary, Not A Substitute
Campaigns by schools or clubs regarding gambling addiction are not sufficient as the sole educational and protective measure. In any case, your child needs to talk with you to process what he or she has heard and seen.
→ Keep Important Documents Safe
If someone makes use of your personal or other identification, this constitutes a misdemeanor under Section 281 of the Criminal Code. This can land you in jail or a fine at worst, so be very careful here
→ Keep An Eye On Your Account
Pay close attention to conspicuous account movements such as deposits and withdrawals from an online casino. Unexpected deviations in the account balance should also because to take a close look.
→ Take Advantage Of Offers Of Help
Do not be afraid to make use of outside offers of help in the event of emerging gambling addiction or excessive gambling consumption behavior on the part of your child. Be a contact person and confidant, listen attentively and do not reproach or accuse your child. Take the resulting steps together and, if necessary, get professional support for yourself.
Attentiveness Instead Of Scaremongering
Not all gambling behavior is pathological, and not every adolescent tends to be at risk. The social and cultural background and the primary contact persons play a significant role here
Also, symptoms of puberty or prepuberty may affect the assessment of a possible risk. Sometimes psychological behavioral disorders are already present, from which an emerging gambling addiction is generated
An open discussion and a vigilant, individual view are generally more advisable than an immediate general ban on gambling, which almost always leads to short-circuit actions on the part of the young person.