Are Free Online Casino Games Linked to Gambling Problems of Young People?

You can play in an online casino after reaching a certain age – this is either 18 or 21 years old. The reasons for this prohibition are clear and understandable and are not criticized. Online casino administrators try in various ways to minimize the chance of minors getting into the game. One of the reasons for the growth in the number of underage gamblers is free games in online casinos. 

Engaging Teenagers in Gambling

In the UK, 3% of teens spend their pocket money on card games with friends and 3% of children bet on fruit slot machines. This was stated by representatives of the Gambling Commission after conducting a sociological survey among children aged 11-16 years. 

Representatives of the Canadian Center for Addiction and Mental Health said that every 8th teenager has played free video slots or card games at least once.

Underage gamblers learn about poker and slots from:

  • advertisements;
  • entertainment shows;
  • sport TV programs. 

There are free versions of gambling apps on many other sites. Teens launch apps for fun and prizes. In demo versions, the reward drops out more often than in real money applications, and underage gamblers start to think that it is easy to beat the casino.

On the other hand, the situation is not so critical. 49% of respondents are aware of gambling addiction and its consequences. Parents and teachers regularly have preventive talks with teenagers. Addiction to poker and slot machines was found only in 1.7% of the respondents, and 2.2% were diagnosed with a potential propensity to the disease.

Responsible Gambling

Of course, finding out the true age of a person on the Internet is much more difficult, but casinos take various measures:

  • a person wishing to register is required to provide documents;
  • a person who wins any amount will not be able to receive it without ID verification;
  • a person who wants to start the game undergoes full verification using a photo along with documents.

There are many ways to check the player, therefore it is hard to get around this rule. Of course, there are less responsible online casinos that, quite simply, ignore the rule. This is a violation that carries severe penalties.

 Thus, the availability of free games in online casinos affects the involvement of minors in gambling. Since the modern young generation spends enough time online, and participation in online casinos is not difficult. Modern technologies make it possible to bypass any blockages, and teenagers are aware of this. However, children cannot play for money in reliable establishments due to the complex identification procedure.

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