Today, everything is at people’s fingertips. People are one Google search away from every vice on the planet. They could read up on how to drink ‘safely’, conspiracy theories on how tobacco is good for you and how gambling is one of the easiest ways to make money; none of which are close to true. The internet is a pretty dangerous place for children especially since gambling and gaming have moved online.
Gambling is not just slot machines and table games nowadays, it has expanded to much more than just the conventional games available before. The world of the internet brought with it something that revolutionised the gambling sector: e-sports. E-sports refers to games that are played by multiple people all over the world that can be bet on. It is a sector that shows quite a lot of promise in the gambling sector and there is a possibility of big winnings in the years to come.
E-sports games are more accessible now than ever before. Try can be played on phones, laptops and tablets. The problem with e-sports is that people do not even realise they are betting or gambling before it is too late. This is further made confusing because of the fact that people can pay for simple things like lives, skins or bonuses in games and think that it is an investment rather than gambling.
The youth are easily drawn into this because of easy access to debit and prepaid cards. Most e-sports games have affordable premium membership packs and this makes it even more attractive for them. This can lead to gambling on cool video game swag like ‘skins’ or ‘bonuses’ or in a later stage, join e-sports betting sites and gamble. This can lead to serious problems like stress, anxiety, depression and problem gambling issues in later stages of life.
There are three main points to keep in mind while talking about gambling among the youth.
- Gambling is just like other risky behaviour: Most people, including parents, are nonchalant to their children spending money on video games or fantasy sports because they do not realise that this could potentially lead to more risky behaviour like gambling for real money later on in life. Just because they are not doing drugs, drinking or smoking, they are not engaging in any vices.
- Many Teens Already Have Gambling issues: There are a lot of young people who are already spending money on gambling. The easy access and low budget of fantasy sports can trigger a much serious gambling issue later in adulthood.
- Teens are adults in a few years: If people are not careful, these teens who are betting bonuses, lives and skins on fantasy sports games can easily shift to real money gambling because teens grow up to be adults pretty fast.