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Youth Gambling In Australia

In Australia, underage gambling is a growing problem. Thanks to early exposure to gambling, more and more young people are taking up the activity. Studies and reports have shown that Australian children as young as 10-years-old are taking part in gambling activities. In fact, 2003’s Measurement of Prevalence of Youth Problem Gambling In Australia study found that up to 11% of youths aged 13 to 24 exhibited problem gambling habits – a statistic which is very likely to have increased over the years.

Gambling often starts at home. Many children are able to take part in poker and other card games with their parents, betting small amounts of money. Although the amount of money wagered is not enough to be considered harmful, the exposure to the activity is enough to keep them coming back for more. The same goes for the purchase of scratch cards as gifts for young children, which can be especially harmful if they are winning tickets. If one of their first experiences with gambling is a winning one, young people can develop an unhealthy, unrealistic perspective on gambling. That’s why local lotteries discourage parents from purchasing lottery tickets for Christmas and birthday presents.

It is also likely that youth gambling has become increasingly prevalent in Australia because of the availability of free casino games online. This is a recent phenomenon, emerging along with social games like Zynga Poker and Double Down Casino. Although they are casino games, they are available to underage individuals since there is no requirement for players to spend money.

Initially, taking part in these games was not considered harmful – but attitudes are changing. The exposure of young people to play-money casino games has the potential to encourage underage individuals to want to try real-money gambling. Games like Zynga Poker make it look easy to win money and players do not experience the realities of gambling because there is no chance for players to lose money.

Senator Nick Xenophon, a local politician who is well known for his stance on responsible gambling, believes that restricting access to social gambling apps and free games will help to reduce problem gambling rates. He has proposed that social casino games are classified as gambling, so that young people in Australia cannot gamble online – whether they are spending money or not.

Xenophon’s campaign will offer some assistance when it comes to reducing underage gambling rates, but there is still more work that needs to be done. It is up to educators and parents to ensure that children are not exposed to gambling activities while offering them the information they need to truly understand the realities of playing casino games and betting.

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