Teshan, from GamCare’s Youth Advisory Board, outlines the impact that gambling could have on children.*
Over the years, gambling has had an extreme effect on society, hypnotizing many people into risking all their money for potential goods. However, it also has an extreme influence on children, even on games and items that you would believe to be innocent and child friendly. This is an element of gambling that is not considered very much or talked about with this topic.
As explained above, Gambling does tend to have a massive impact of children. Imagine how much gambling ruins the lives of adults, and now it’s being introduced to children too? This seems to be particularly common within gaming. From my personal experience, one of my favourite play station games is FIFA. On FIFA, they have packs where you can keep spending money in the game, as well as your own money to get packs. You never know what you’re going to get, it could be a really good player/card, or it could be the complete opposite. This is done all around the world as FIFA is the most popular football computer game in the entire world. Also, it’s worth noting that the age rating for FIFA is 3+, meaning that whether you’re a toddler or an adolescent it could still affect in ways that you may not even realise.
Another example of how gambling influences children is through arcade games. When I was younger, I used to love going to visit the arcade with my friends and my cousins. My favourite game and one of the most popular within the arcade is claw machines. The claw machine has teddies or other items within the machine, and you would have to spend money in order to try and win a teddy/item. The main thing about this machine, however, is that the success rates are extremely low. Although I’ve witnessed people win items from this machine, I myself have never won anything and have regrettably wasted a lot of money on this machine. Even within arcades themselves, they are made to seem bright, fun and have lots of colourful lights in order to catch the eye of children specifically, which further justifies how gambling is used to influence children just as much as they influence adults.
In order to resolve issues such as this, I believe we could create more games allowing children to win based on their hard work and progression within the games played. For example, instead of having to buy the good FIFA packs, game modes could be created so that players can win packs as they progress through the game and due to the hard work and creativity levels, if something like this could be put in place. Also, maybe classes could be given to younger children regarding gambling. I think that based on the intelligent minds of the youth advisory board; this could definitely be made a possibility involving younger children.
In conclusion, I believe that issues such as gambling are examples of the things that hold people back in society and as stated above, it’s having an extreme impact on the younger generation which will then further impact future generations. Therefore, this is why at GamCare we should have more things put in place in order to educate much younger children in order to broaden their understanding of gambling from the early stages of life so it doesn’t affect them in the future.
If you are affected by gambling harm, whether it is your own or someone close to you’s gambling, reach out to our Young People’s Support Service here.
*This article is written by a member of our Youth Advisory Board and all views represented are their own