Is underage gambling in kids games using digital currency a big problem?
Yes but it doesn’t get a lot of attention except for this week as the UK based Gambling Commission writes an open twelve page love to take you down letter outlining how game and tournament companies without a gambling license are using digital currencies like skins, bitcoins, or other in game purchases to avoid gambling laws and allow and encourage children to gamble. The letter ends with a questionnaire for potential offenders and gives them until September 30th to respond or will face the music provided by the Gambling Commission…Fall Out Boy’s “sugar we’re going down”
And…South Australia bans gambling for computer and video game competitions. CHILD Protection Reform Minister John Rau says quote “Children are particularly vulnerable to the attraction of gambling on sporting contests conducted on the platform of video games, we do not want them to be introduced to gambling under the guise of a game.” When asked if gambling on competitive sports was a game Rau said (No, I think Jenga’s a game).
Also in South Australia, Independent Senator Nick Xenophon while attending the Mario Kart 8 Ultimate Challenge says quote “Mario Kart is a fantastic game that many millions of people around the world have enjoyed, but there are legitimate questions to ask about a kid’s game being used as a vehicle for online bookmakers and for gambling…We need to listen to the researchers who are concerned with the links between video games children play and gambling, which does not reflect on the game or those that play them.” Nick then slapped the ice cream cone out of a child’s hand saying it’s a vehicle for sugar to destroy your teeth.
Getting addicted to something at a young age increases the likelihood of a life long addiction. So making games geared towards kids where you can buy some pokecoins for $5 then gamble with those pokecoins using the poke slot machine is analogous to a 12 year old buying candy cigarettes but they’re actual cigarettes with covered in candy. We sent some kids on the beat to find out more.