Children, Technology and Gambling

Research has shown that 8.2% of 10 to 14 year olds and 8.4% of 15 to 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.

A study undertaken in April 2016 has found people who play simulated gambling games are more likely to gamble commercially and report gambling problems. The convergence of gambling and gaming alongside an increase in advertising has led to increased exposure to, and possible normalisation of, gambling. Read the report here - Is gambling a game? Simulated gambling games.

Tips for Parents

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.

Video gaming and gambling

Gambling and teenagers

Know before you load app

Love the game, not the odds

Why boys are susceptible to the siren song of online and offline gambling

Help and Resources

Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800

Reach Out

Headspace - The National Youth Mental Health Foundation providing early intervention mental health services to 12 to 25 year olds, along with assistance in promoting young peoples’ wellbeing. This covers four core areas: mental health, physical health, work and study support and alcohol and other drug services.

* 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).

Immediate help is available now. Contact the Gambling Helpline now for free and confidential support, 24/7

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