According to the most recent statistics provided by the UK Gambling Commission, there has been a significant increase in the number of children who have gambling problems. This number has increased by a factor of four in the last two years, reaching more than 50,000. The reports are based on annual statistics, which currently stand at 1.7 percent, compared to 0.4 percent in 2016 and 0.9 percent in 2017.
It is worth noting that gambling-related problems among adolescents have been on the decline in the United States over the last 20 years. The most recent increase in numbers appears to be due to a change in the methodology used to compile statistics.
However, we can state unequivocally that the primary reason for this dramatic increase in numbers is the inclusion of simulated gambling or games similar to gambling in video games. Let’s take a look at how video game behaviors can lead to gambling problems for teenagers.
Loot boxes, lotteries, and traditional casino games are examples of gambling activities
If you’re not a big fan of video games, you might be surprised to learn that the vast majority of games released in recent years include some form of gambling for players to partake in. For example, one feature found in many games is the ability to spend real money to obtain virtual items.
In this section, players can earn rewards such as powerful weapons, spells, and armor. The majority of video games require the user to buy a set number of points, gold, or another form of virtual currency. Following that, he has the option of purchasing the item directly or opting for one of the increasingly popular loot boxes.
Crates, also known as loot boxes, are a type of container that can hold extra items. This activity may be compared to a lottery because the player never knows what he will win. Because the player has a low chance of obtaining one of the most desirable items, he is encouraged to spend more money on loot boxes in the hope of eventually obtaining the item he seeks. So, why do people who play video games buy loot boxes?
The answer is straightforward. You have a very slim chance of finding the best gear in the main game, and even if you do, you can only get it after reaching a significantly higher level. As a result, the player can use loot boxes to boost their character’s stats and progress through the game more quickly. Loot boxes are typically paid items in video games that involve battles or brawls in which you must acquire powerful weaponry to defeat your opponent.
There are currently a large number of websites on the internet that allow gamers to buy in-game items for real money. This is another fascinating fact that you should be aware of. As a result, certain users can easily gain access to these websites to make a purchase or even sell items obtained while playing the game.
It is quite obvious how the gambling component of these games will play out from a young age. It is claimed that more than 13% of children under the age of 16 have participated in these activities, which include some form of gambling. The ages of these children range from infancy to sixteen years. Furthermore, more than 31% of gamers have paid for a video game’s loot box in the hopes of obtaining a digital item.
One more intriguing aspect of certain video games is the inclusion of traditional casino games in which players can participate using the game’s virtual currency. Players of the massively popular Grand Theft Auto video game can wager their in-game currency on a variety of casino games such as slots, blackjack, roulette, and craps. As you progressed through the games, you would climb the VIP ladder, eventually reaching the level of a whale if you were successful.
Given that the majority of the players are teenagers from all over the world, it’s easy to see how this serves as direct practice for gambling with real money.
People who were early adopters of a risk-taking attitude
A recent study found conclusive evidence that there is a link between buying loot boxes in video games and having compulsive gambling problems. A survey of over 7,000 gamers revealed that those who spend more money on gambling-related activities such as purchasing loot boxes are more likely to develop gambling problems.
This can be explained by the fact that loot boxes work similarly to a lottery, and that purchasing other items did not reveal any connection to gambling issues.
The study does not prove that all gamers who buy loot boxes will develop a gambling addiction, but it does show a clear link between the two factors. As a result, many industry professionals believe that children should not have access to video games with gambling simulations. This is a risk factor, and children should be protected from its effects as early in their development as possible.
Many people believe that the likelihood of a young person progressing to gambling at online casinos as a result of purchasing loot boxes in video games is extremely remote. However, as the aforementioned study shows, there are a variety of reasons why young people may begin gambling. Those of us who have lived in both worlds know that the second is far easier to navigate.
Let’s take a look at this with a simple example, shall we?
Consider the following scenario: a young person wants to watch a live broadcast of a football game and goes online to do so. This option is made available on a variety of websites, the majority of which make the majority of their money by displaying advertisements to site visitors. In a pop-up window, an advertisement for a video slot game similar to Tomb Raider will appear.
Is this something you’ve heard before?
This is a popular video game that is enjoyed by millions of adolescents worldwide. This advertisement allows the young person to see, among other things, the game’s alluring reels, the casino’s bonus, and the opportunity to win large sums of money.
So, what options do we have here?
He can either conduct basic research on Google, such as searching for “Where to play Tomb Raider Slot,” or he can simply click on the advertisement and navigate directly to the casino’s website. There is a 100 percent chance that he will come across an affiliate website similar to this one. He will be able to find casino guidelines, slot reviews, bonus promotions, and pretty much everything else he needs to start playing at online casinos on such a website.