Image source: Jeff Kubina from the milky way galaxy / CC BY-SA via Wikimedia Commons
Problem gambling has always been a big issue in the UK and basically everywhere around the globe. However, this issue is not a thing that anyone can solve in a couple of days. Throughout history, there was always a popular form to lose all your money with venturing. Nowadays, the most prevailing forms of problem gambling are caused by online platforms and advertisements.
It’s hard to define what is exactly problem gambling. Since if you are going to Vegas with your friends and lose a bunch of money then beg to your wealthy father to help you out with the rent is a problem gambling behavior but doesn’t mean that the mentioned individual has issues in the everyday life. Anyhow, we call problem gambling if a person has an urge to wager in some form continuously. We should call it gambling-addiction however, that does not really describe the whole issue. Since if you go to Vegas every month and there is no safety net below your ass, you and your family and friends can easily get significant damage. Both financial and social.
The biggest tragedy of our century is the undue boredom
Back in the days, it wasn’t so easy to become a real problem gambler. Even if this statement sounds silly, if we just check a 10-year-distance we can see that you needed to do something to do wagering. You had to buy a lotto ticket, or go to a casino or just go to a bar where you could play with the slots. Or, you could just make bets on billiard to lose your shirt before you get beaten up. Back then, even if these weren’t the best circles, even if you didn’t notice it, you had a safety net below you. The barman, the casino staff, all these individuals were able to notice if you have problems. (It’s a different question that are they wanted to help or not but that’s a different story.)
On the other hand, you had to go out to do these activities. Forms of problem gambling were easily noticeable and were easier to help. Since changes in the problem gambler’s environment mostly solved the problem immediately.
However, the situation nowadays is a bit trickier. We are in the age of the Internet, where are countless uncensored advertisements and endless opportunities to get advice on how to ruin your life or do it directly. Nowadays, you don’t have to go out to play poker or slots. You just open a random site and you can start gaming with real cash without a problem. And here comes the new forms of problem gambling, where anyone (even children) can wager from home. Where countless ads popping up while you are reading a random article. And mostly, where you can easily gamble without anyone notice it. And “secret gambling” is one of the worst forms of problem gambling.
Many forms of problem gambling start in the childhood
According to the latest researches and the opinion of children psychologists, even the youngest generation is in danger. Many forms of problem gambling start at a very young age because the video games and the online casino ads are literally training our children to become gamblers.
There is huge competition in the video game market. Thus, developers are do everything to create the most enjoyable gameplay experience and in-game progression that is possible. So, they are creating addictive games. If you follow the news, you probably also heard about the loot boxes scandal. After the public noticed what are these exactly and how the game developers ruin their children’s lives they made a couple of steps. Belgium even banned these virtual goods. However, the problem is still here and no one really knows what could you do to protect the youngest from these dirty practices. Probably, the only solution if you listen as a parent what are your “darlings” doing on their phones and computers.
The other problem is with advertisements all around the web. This way, the next generation believes the false impression, that gambling is a regular part of an adult’s life. Even more, sports betting is an essential part of playing football. If you can see those ads everywhere as a child, these habits will be normalized for you. In other words, by you have grown up, in your ideology, gambling will be native.
By the way, most of the participants of the industry sum these issues like “We did everything to protect the children from gambling”. However, even if they did, these boomers will suffer from new forms of problem gambling when they will be adults. Can we prevent these happenings or we already ruined the next generations? No one really knows…
How could anyone control the world of online casinos?
If you follow the latest gambling news you probably heard about the regulations and restrictions that the gambling commissions made to protect the European citizens. Even if these steps seem radical, they are not real solutions. They just ease the problems not solve them. Most forms of problem gambling nowadays are caused by offshore gambling firms which cannot be controlled, punished, or banned properly. Here is a list of the latest significant measures:
- Credit Card Ban
- Time Limits
- Ban of TV and Radio Advertisements
- Many countries completely shut down the online casino industry during the difficult months
- Regulations on VIP Programmes
Anyhow, these restrictions are a bit controversial. Since, this way, trustworthy online firms with proper licenses and with the fair and caring management are simply out of the business. And what’s left? Plenty of suspicious options for online gambling without any regulations. Sometimes, even the option of withdrawal is questionable.
In conclusion, slowly but surely we must accept that it’s a new era in the world of gaming. Thus, new forms of problem gambling will appear as well. Our only chance to protect the culture of ventures while we defend the victims of the industry if we support the frank firms and remove the companies which only care about the money. And where is the border? It’s not my resort to make this decision, but we can trust the UK Gambling Commission and the other gambling authorities in Europe that they will do everything.