Research has shown that 8.2% of 10-14 year olds and 8.4% of 15-17 year olds are 'at risk' of problem gambling.
Here in SA, almost a third of teenagers have tried one or more types of simulated gambling online, and one in ten teenagers have played simulated electronic slot machine games*.
Today's young people are more savvy than ever before at using technology. Alongside the rapid growth in smartphones, tablets and video games that link to the internet, there has been an explosion in downloadable games. Some of these games contain simulated gambling content.
Experts are worried that early exposure of some children to games that simulate gambling may lead to problem gambling habits in adulthood. Despite this, most of these games are freely available to young people. Playing these games often becomes a daily activity and young people are practising gambling - without even knowing it.
Discuss the issue with your child. Keeping the lines of communication open can help young people build general resilience and manage exposure to gambling-like features in the online environment.
* Gambling Research Australia 2011 and King, D.L, Delfabbro, P.H., Kaptsis, D., and Zwaans, T. (2013, accepted 27/10/2013). Adolescent simulated gambling via digital and social media: An emerging problem (Adelaide University).