The UKGC has announced the rising of the minimum lotto age from 16 to 18. To curb gambling addiction among teenagers. Last year, British teenager Sam Lawton won the National Lottery prize. Raising questions about the minimum age of participants. In the coming years, the minimum age for betting will be at least 18 years. The decision came after a group of lawmakers in Parliament. Called on the UKGC to raise the minimum age for participants in sweepstakes, scratch cards and instant win games online.
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“Although lotto is not as popular as casino games and sports betting. Being available to teenage players poses a great risk to them and their families. Especially with easy access to these games online.” Said Caroline Harris, chair of the gambling group in the parliament.
This Move Received Much Support
This step received a great cheer from all parties. Dr Steve Sharman, a research fellow at the College of Psychology, expressed that this decision was completely correct and said. “Although it is a small step, it is in the right direction and important to protect teens from the risks of gambling addiction. The younger the person, the lower the will, and the higher the risk of gambling addiction.
The UK Report Reveals Startling Points
The United Kingdom released a statistic in 2018 that revealed some surprising things, as follows:
14% of Britons between the ages of 11 and 16 gamble weekly! Despite restrictions, standards, and controls placed to prevent players under 18 from gambling online.
This rate is higher than the proportion of people who regularly drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or use drugs.
Over the past year, 39% of children participating in gambling activities said they played with their own money. While 66% of minors participating in the study said that they had seen a lot of gambling ads on TV. In addition, the study found that 1.7% of children who gamble have problems with gambling addiction. And 2.2% are at risk of addict gambling.
What controls are in place to limit gambling among teens?
One of the most important foundations of healthy gambling is that the adult person uses his or her personal money to wisely gambling!
Teens neither have “wisdom” nor “personal money”! So, they use their pocket money to gamble! That is losses will directly limit their spending on the other important aspects. Therefore, they might think of stealing to get more money to gamble or to spend on necessities. So, the UKGC has put in place strong controls to curb teen gambling activities, as follows:
⚪️The minimum age for players is 18 years on all UK gambling operators.
⚪️Verify the player's birth-date to ensure that he is not a minor.
⚪️The operator's terms and conditions stipulate that the account is for the user only and he cannot share it with another person. If this happens, the casino must suspend the account.
In addition, banks and E-Wallets in the UK applies the same conditions. So, there are a joint work to reduce the underage gambling phenomenon.
How Do Minors Reach Gambling Sites?
Despite standards set to prevent minors from gambling, they find loopholes that enable them to play online!
For example, there are some suspicious overseas casinos that accept players without verifying their identities. In addition to that, there are some games, like GTA, that contain gambling activities.
What's the solution?
Legislatively, there aren't many steps that parliament should take; Since all the important laws are already in place!
The important thing that must be taken into consideration and worked on during the coming period is to educate teenagers about the seriousness of gambling addiction in schools, colleges, and clubs.
Many minors believe that gambling cannot be “addictive” because it does not involve the abuse of a physical substance. The educators should carefully explain this point. Gambling has many common features with drugs even though it does not involve substance abuse.
For example, the addict compulsively consumes drugs. Also, the gambling addict plays compulsively.