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Loot Boxes are Gambling and That's It!

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Studies have shown that every year more and more children and adolescents in the UK become involved in online gambling.

Studies by the GambleAware organization, conducted for the UK Gambling Commission, showed that 1 in 10 children spend money on gambling. Video games, loot boxes and unlicensed online gambling sites, as well as betting between friends, are very popular among 11-17-year-olds. According to the laws of online gambling in the UK, gambling online is prohibited at this age.

GambleAware is concerned that such an early acquaintance with gambling, as well as lack of information about the problems associated with them, can lead to an increase in the level of risk. Currently, 0.9% of 11-16-year-olds have problems with gambling, and another 1.3% are at risk of becoming potential gamblers. The report was published in response to the Government's request for information as part of the review of the gambling industry.

Video games increase the risk of gambling in young people

The report showed a decrease in the number of young players but revealed a wider range of forms of gambling that are faced by underage players. Studies have also shown that young people often buy loot boxes and play online viking slots then go to bookmakers or sites. 11% of young people say that they have taken part in gambling with the elements of a lottery (loot boxes) playing on virtual prizes like game character's staff or virtual weapon. Loot boxes can be earned during the game, but they can often be bought using real money. This system of random awards in video games is similar to slot machines. While these winnings do not have any value outside of the world of video games, they are in demand among players. Some skins for video games are sold for thousands of dollars on the Internet.

Another threat to teenagers are free games for casinos that have appeared all over the world on social networking platforms. Players of all ages can play virtual roulette, poker, blackjack and slots. While in these free games teenagers do not risk real money, they accustom youth to the excitement.

GambleAware is very concerned about how many children are being involved in gambling through video games and free games on online casino sites in the UK. The Gambling Commission wants the government to include child protection strategies in its Internet Security Policy. In addition, the regulator encourages parents to discuss with their children the risks of gambling and the negative consequences of gambling. GambleAware notes that 69% of the interviewed children claim that they first tried gambling with their parents. Hopefully, the fight against gambling among young people will reduce the level of problems among adults in the future.

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