Four gambling operators are under investigation after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) noticed advertisements that seemed to potentially be aimed at children.
Advertisements too friendly
The companies, who all hold gambling licenses in the United Kingdom, are currently being reviewed by the Advertising Standards Authority. The review comes after a complaint was made by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling about advertisements on the companies’ sites that may potentially attract kids into gambling. According to casinonewsdaily.com, one of the four websites, which includes Fun88, M88, Letou, and 138.com, responded to the review. Letou said visitors to its site are allowed to play only after their ages have been authenticated.
While most of the advertisements for gambling is geared toward adults, many ads include well-known cartoons and other kiddie elements that may capture a child’s attention. Because of this, the U.K. Gambling Commission made it known to those who hold a license with the regulator, as well as those who advertise with a third party, that they are required to take any advertisements that could attract a child, of their websites. There is a deep concern that not only does it attract children, but it also diminishes the potential dangers of gambling.
New Rules Ensure Child Safety
New rules were put in place last month that would help further protect youth from falling prey to gambling addictions. Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England suggested tighter rules be put in place that would make access to online gambling much harder for minors.
Changes were agreed upon by the U.K. Gambling Commission. The commission suggested altering the license conditions and codes of practice, according to casinonewsdaily.com. These are the rules and requirements that operators with a U.K. license must abide by.
With these changes, the U.K. Gambling Commission has also extended an invitation to stakeholders within the industry, operators, and patrons who gamble to discuss these changes. This opportunity is available as a way for the groups to remark on the potential future changes that will be made in the online gambling industry. The time frame to openly discuss the reform changes are from now until April 2018.
The number of minors with access to gambling in the United Kingdom is increasingly high.
According to casinonewsdaily, a U.K. Gambling Commission report has revealed very alarming statistics. Each week, kids between the ages of 11 and 16 participate in gambling. On top of this, 25,000 minors have a gambling addiction and 36,000 are in danger of becoming addicted to the activity. While these numbers are extremely worrisome, there’s more. More than 250,000 minors have taken part in gambling with licensed operators, according to The Guardian.
The cause for minors getting involved in gambling varies, with different areas of the activity contributing to the problem. For instance, The Guardian reported slot machines, also known as “fruit machines,” are usually the known starting point for youth becoming addicted. Data show 24 percent of youth start out with the machines, while 21 percent of minors start with the National Lottery. While these are statistically the common ways minors begin gambling, other activities are becoming more popular starting points.
Along with social media, eSports are also becoming increasingly popular. Following this, 11 percent of minors participate in skin betting, which is the act of trading certain items that equates to monetary value. The skin-betting industry alone is valued at €3.8 billion. Certain mobile applications also contribute to the ever-growing issue. Statistic show 1 out of every 10 children participates in games that simulate casino gambling, such as a slot machine app or similar games advertised on certain social media websites.
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