Betting on the Future: Why the Gambling Industry Is Targeting Our Kids
December 18, 2018
If you are a regular user of social media websites or watch television, you would have witnessed that the UK online casinos are showing their ads on different platforms. The advertisements talk about the advantages of playing casino slots. Recently I was watching a UEFA Champions League match between 2 European Teams along with my children, and I saw the ad of a famous gambling website in displayed inside the stadium as well as being shown during the telecast. When my children asked about it that was the moment I realized I need to research more as to how this industry is affecting our kids.
Are the Advertisements Really Not Affecting Children?
Although most of the casino websites do not show their ads during a program that is not “G” rated but still during NFL matches or even Olympics you can see the advertisements of these websites regularly appearing on your TV as you are enjoying the moment along with your family. The children are definitely affected by these ads. Though they are not allowed to gamble unless they are 18 years old, but the colourful ads and the lucrative prizes do inspire them to become a gambler in the future.
There are some online casinos which are more responsible than the others, and you won’t see many places with gambling advertisements, but sometimes it is possible for the children to see a gambling advertisement and get attracted towards it. The parents need to jump in at this point in order to tell their children about gambling and helping them to cope with such advertisements. There is a possibility that a child gets affected by a gambling ad he/she saw during a TV program or on a building, but it is the responsibility of the governments and the media to apply precautionary measures beforehand. As gambling is legal in many countries, the casinos can advertise it. It is high time that the government also starts taking responsibility and make proper regulations regarding such advertisements instead of putting all the blame on the casino industry.
Is the Gambling Industry Responsible Enough?
There are big names in this industry which are funding hospitals and schools. We can say that they are doing it in order to make the children getting the benefit of their services and it is an act to show that they care for the society as they are into a legal business. Although there are some black sheep in this industry too, most of the stakeholders do try their best to apply proper checks so that the underage gamblers are unable to access their platforms.
Are the Governments Putting Proper Checks?
It is quite understandable that many countries have legalised online gambling as it is a form of entertainment if you are responsible enough. We should be careful regarding the attempt of the online casino industry to lure the children into their trap. With flashy advertisements mentioning hundreds of dollars in prizes they do get the children’s attention and it is a scary situation. Even if a child starts playing online slots at the age of 18 which is the legal age for being able to gamble in many countries he/she is unaware of the harmful aspects of this industry. There are few online casinos with soft policies regarding the legal age factor, and their checks can easily be bypassed resulting children spending their time and money on such entertainment. You may have heard the famous story of a teenage Indian gambler whose identity and age was revealed after he won a huge prize. Although his parents are fighting the case to get the money in their account the online casino is of the view that a teenager is not allowed legally to gamble online but why was he able to stay on the platform for such a long period of time?
Conflict of Interest, Really?
You may have seen that this particular industry is actually against “gambling addiction” and they have cleared this out in multiple advertisements condemning it and suggesting that the people suffering from it should get proper medical treatment. There are multiple online casinos which are investing to get people out of this addiction, but a number of people would say it is a conflict of interest for these platforms. Why would they lose their loyal customers and the answer to this question is that ethical values are much more than getting your business done and the gambling industry recognises it.
The Responsibility of the Government
It is the responsibility of governments to regulate the advertisements of the gambling websites being shown on national TV channels especially during the prime time transmission. It is possible that some of the casinos also advertise their websites in various cities with the help of billboards, but apparently, you won’t see such ads most of the times telling us that there are a lot of responsible people working in the gambling industry. The governments need to step up and say “No” to the huge funds being given by this industry for various events so that the people can have their trust back on the government and don’t think that the governments are putting their interest above the public’s interest. As gambling is legal in a number of countries around the world better regulations could definitely solve this problem and provide a proper guideline to the online casinos operating in that country.