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How to Protect Your Kids From Online Gambling

December 21, 2020 22 0
How to Protect Your Kids From Online Gambling

Kids easily attract to the Internet. While it is a place of information and entertainment, this wide-open digital space also allows children convenient access to games, including those that qualify as gambling. It is common knowledge that online gambling sites are not for minors since such activities typically involve money—both winning or losing it. Hence, you are responsible for ensuring that your kids will not gain access to online gambling sites. 

What is Online Gambling

Online gambling is a generic term for gambling via the Internet. A ton of games similar to gambling is available online. They are legal but are not for minors. There’s a tremendous difference between video game sites and online gambling platforms—the most apparent being the latter involving money. 

Youngsters are most attracted to the Internet. They use and understand this virtual world more than the older generations. Therefore, they can play online games and gain access to online gambling sites. In some cases, kids even create an online gambling account using the credit card of their parents. More often than not, they do that without their parent’s knowledge or permission.

Online gambling has different categories. These include online casinos, online sports betting, online poker, online lotteries, and online bingo. Study shows that youngsters who gamble are more prone to consuming alcohol, taking drugs, and becoming violent. Other research finds higher suicide attempts among pathological gamblers than any other addictions. That said, gambling is not innocent entertainment for kids as it serves as a gateway to addiction. As a parent, you are in charge of your child’s safety. You must ensure that they will never gain access to any online gambling websites.

Why Gambling Appeals to the Younger Generation

In this day and age, gambling and other similar activities have become so prevalent that most youngsters think it is a normal part of life. Not to mention ads actively send the message that gambling is exciting and a road to getting rich overnight.

Youngsters might see gambling as a great social activity since sites use chat and messaging to promote playing with peers, inviting others to place wagers, and share gambling experiences. Unbeknownst to many, however, online gambling lets you win a lot in “practice mode,” especially with online slots. That might give teenagers the impression that their winning streak would continue when they play with real money. Most problem gamblers saw what they thought was a meaningful “win” in their early gambling history. 

In case you missed it, gambling depends on pure chance. However, several game developers have come up with video games and apps that involve skills. While this might look exciting to youngsters, thinking gambling involves proficiency with their motor skills, the reality is that it is not. That could form false or unrealistic beliefs about gambling and winning odds. 

What Are the Dangers of Online Gambling

Nowadays, tons of online gambling games are available on the market. All of these can be addicting to your child and may even impact their physical and mental health. You must pay close attention to what games your child is playing. When it comes to online gambling, you must take prompt action to avoid the worst-case scenario. Below are the hazards of online gambling to kids:

Addiction 

The reason online gambling is so popular is that it gives individuals a sense of happiness. When your kid is on a winning streak, they will be thrilled and continue playing. The pleasure that comes with winning will force them to become more drawn to the game. Once they get addicted, it will be quite a challenge to save them from it.

Massive Spending

Online gambling encourages players to overspend and kids even more so. Instead of requiring them to prepare cash, sites ask them to connect a credit card. That may result in children spending a hefty sum of money without even realizing it. That will only come to their attention when they run out of funds.

Frauds and Scams

Fake gambling websites are multiplying each day. If your kid participates in any online gambling site, it can be dangerous. More often than not, children are not capable of distinguishing between legitimate and bogus websites. Therefore, they are very prone to becoming victims of frauds and scams.

Privacy Issues

Online security experts advise against creating usernames that are derivatives of your real name or indicates other personally identifiable information like age or location. The social nature of online gaming lets fraudsters manipulate conversations. When your kid uses a fake online gambling site, a cybercriminal might ask for detailed personal information. Fraudsters can use these valuable data in schemes. 

Webcam Worries

Ever since the first webcams hit the market, they have been hacking targets. Originally, webcams were physically separate peripherals. End users manually add them, and more than not, they are left with their default factory settings. Reports of webcam hacks continue to be frequent events, especially now that many devices, from laptops to smartphones, come with inbuilt webcams. Whether internal or external, cybercriminals can hack any connected recording device such as a microphone or webcam. They can use that to exploit your child. 

Tips for Parents Protecting Kids From Online Gambling

First things first, you would do well to discuss gambling and its potential risks with your children. Examining your gambling attitudes and habits is also essential. Remember, you are the primary role model for your children. Here are some helpful tips for launching an all-out strategic battle to protect your child from online gambling:

Set Clear Rules

Before you even green light your kids to play online, you must set explicit rules on which sites they can access. That will drastically limit where and which games your child will play. Also, impose harsh sanctions for any violations to inform them that you are serious. 

Watch Out for Telltale Signs of Gambling

Youngsters who are experiencing difficulty coping with issues at home, school, or their personal lives are trying to find an escape. Many times, they find that in online gambling. By being on the lookout for educational, mental, or social concerns, you can prevent harmful activities. Also, you can encourage more beneficial extracurricular activities. Find better ways for your kids to handle stress or boredom. 

Discuss Quality Media Choices

Talking about smart media choices helps your child make sound decisions about their Internet experience. For instance, you could educate your child about video games with gambling content and themes. Tell them why you want them to stay away from such offerings. Once you encourage your child to have a balanced approach to screen use, they can efficiently escape the stress and relieve boredom. That might make online gambling less appealing to your kids. 

Monitor Your Credit Card

As mentioned previously, some kids use their parent’s credit cards without permission to create an online gambling account. Gambling sites often require credit cards. If left unmonitored, your child can rack up a debt online. When that happens, you might have to kiss your good credit rating goodbye. It’s no different from falling victim to identity theft. Only this time, your kid was the one who used your credit card without your authorization. Nonetheless, you can avoid money problems by always monitoring your credit card and ensuring your child never uses it without your knowledge or permission.

Participate in Your Child’s Gaming Experience

Another way to protect your kids from online gambling is to be involved in their gaming experience. While they might not appreciate you doing that, playing with your kids lets you spend quality time together. While doing something your child enjoys, you can monitor their activity online. That way, you can worry less about them being able to sneak into gambling sites.

Remind Your Kids That Gambling Is Not for Minors

It helps to remind your child that gambling is illegal for minors. You may educate them on the nature of online gambling and how it works. Help them understand that these are online businesses that rake in more money than they payout. Therefore, you have very slim chances of taking home the prize pot. 

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