Gambling has been forever plaguing the UK. From dirty pubs to lavish casinos, everyone’s looking to spin the reels or the roulette wheel every day and things are starting to get serious. What’s even more concerning is that it’s taking over our youth – according to the latest reports, the number of children with gambling addiction has quadrupled in recent years!
It’s nothing new for the UK. Roulette has been one of the most popular casino games among UK Roulette fans for a long time and that’s not going to change soon. The main problem with is that gambling is now affecting our children, ruining their childhood which should be filled with joy, not slots or roulette wheels. According to a report by the UK Gambling Commission, underage gambling is taking the UK by storm and immediate measures are needed to protect children from gambling.
The number of children 11-16 with a gambling problem has quadrupled in the past few years, with video game loot boxes the main culprit.
What Are Loot Boxes?
If you’ve been following gambling news recently, you’ve surely come across loot boxes. Loot boxes are a hot topic all over the world now, as they’re not regulated by the authorities. In video games, loot boxes are a consumable item that can be redeemed to receive some kind of virtual item. It can be a new avatar or skin or something more valuable such as new weapons or armor. These boxes are a form of monetization and due to the heavy spending on them, they’ve become one of the main culprits for underage gambling.
Children aged 11-16 are buying special keys to redeem the boxes. This makes loot boxes kind of a gateway to problem gambling. Pubs are not making the situation any easier. As you surely know, many pubs in the UK have a slot or two where you can simply drink a beer and try to win it all with one spin. However, only 10% of the pubs in the UK are actually preventing children to gamble on their premises, which is too small a number to subdue the problem.
Nowadays, children are literally bombarded by gambling ads. It seems that everywhere you look there’s an ad for a bookie or casino. Watch a Premier League match, and you’ll see the shiny bookmaker logos scrolling on the ad boards. As children are heavily invested in sports, there’s literally no way to escape from the media pressure and it definitely adds more fuel to the fire.
What’s the Solution?
Right now, the government needs to regulate loot boxes first and implement strict measures against underage gambling. Of course, pubs and casinos need to do their fair share of work as well. Problem gambling among children in the UK is a serious threat which could have repercussions decades later. If we don’t cut at its roots, a whole new generation of gamblers will ruin our country and economy as well.