UK Bans Online Casinos that Target Children
While some of us are more than happy to have a freedom to play in online casinos whenever we want, all people should be concerned about how much children are exposed to this industry. We won’t start the long talk about the fact that online gambling is quite addictive and only adults who can control themselves and know a thing or two about responsibility should be allowed to engage in games of chance. Sadly, the industry is unethical in its very nature and business owners prey on all customers no matter how badly they are protected from the addicting gameplay of slot games.
Great Britain is certainly concerned about this issue and recently started push really hard against shady casinos that advertise towards children and feature games that can be easily confused for puzzles and action mobile games that children should enjoy.
The Dangers of Puzzle-Slots
Recent slots have been carrying a distinct outlook of apps that are usually designed for children. Some of them literally take characters from cartoon networks and turn them into mascots for their slot machines as seen with a perfect example of the title Frogger. This is arguably a skill-based game and you bet not on the outcome of the RNG-powered machine but on how well you will perform during the next run. However, this is still gambling due to a lot of other randomly generated factors affect the result. Despite all the efforts of developers to prove that this is a legit entertainment, it is still a way to wager real money.
This is not the core of the issue. Gambling is a problem for those adults who are irresponsible naturally and would lose their money in many other ways. Responsible gamblers always dedicate a certain portion of their income to gambling and know how to limit themselves. This can never be said about children who are simply not able to understand the real value of money.
The true danger is in the way slot games are accessed by children and advertised to them. The UK government is concerned about websites and applications that are used by children and have targeted advertisements that lead users directly to the App Store where they can install a brand new online casino application without any hassle. Children will readily install a colorful flashy app and start playing wagering virtual money at first.
Many children either use their parents’ phones and tablets or have a dedicated credit/debit card attached to their own devices meaning that many have free access to finances of their families. With some apps allowing to wager up to $600 at once, this is a real danger to British households. This is also a completely unethical practice that no one approves.
The Determination of the Government
British legislators cannot really prohibit every single website and application to stop targeted advertising and the advertisement industry will never care who pays for those shows. However, the UK Gambling Commission decided to take a stand and informed all casino operators and related websites that they must stop showing ads that could be aimed at underage minors. The UKGC is determined to protect children from the addicting lures of modern gambling industry.
While this is an undoubtedly honorable move, the market must become a much more controlled environment to truly create a barrier between children and gambling. The wall must be vivid and palpable in order to ensure that our kids do not become addicts before they can learn more about financial responsibility.
Note that recent research showed that over 450 thousand underage minors have tried slot games and continue to play on a regular basis. It is our main priority to reduce this number.