Experts argue that children should be prevented from accessing online games like Candy Crush Saga so that they don’t develop gambling addiction as they get older.
As reported by The Daily Telegraph, Professor Mark Griffiths warned that gaming applications create an addiction to gambling in children, even if they are not betting with real money. According to him, the so-called simulated gambling, which allows players to win special features or add-ons during the game, makes this process easier.
Professor Griffiths, who is director of the International Game Research Unit at Nottingham Trent University, explained that simulated roulette wheel games should only be available to adult players, as research has shown that simulated games can be considered a risk factor for gambling addiction.
For example, Candy Crush games offer a feature such as a wheel of fortune that provides players with additional moves or other gameplay options. These games have been downloaded over 2.7 billion times and are often played by minors.
The warning comes after the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) reported a significant increase in the number of children who spend money on gambling last week. The gambling industry is being encouraged to be more responsible towards the people who play these games and to take further action to prevent gamblers from becoming addicted.
According to the Casino Guardian, the UK’s top gambling regulator reported last week that there has been a significant increase in the number of children between the ages of 11 and 16 who regularly play online games. According to figures provided by the UKGC, approximately 500,000 children between the ages of 11 and 16 play online regularly, with an average stake of up to £ 16.
It also became clear that a sharp jump, to 55,000, was also recorded in the number of children described as problem gamblers, with another 70,000 at risk of becoming gamblers. In addition, during the study, almost a million underage children reported that they gambled through various online offers and mobile applications.
One of the main problems, according to anti-gambling campaigners, is that politicians give too many opportunities to gambling operators, especially because of their willingness to provide tax revenues to the country’s budget. Opponents of gambling explained that both gambling companies and competent institutions normalize gambling in the minds of local residents, and especially children, creating the wrong idea that gambling is completely risk-free, which is not true.
Some opponents of gambling in the country accuse local authorities of being loyal to gambling companies and argue that gambling laws in the UK are rather weak for companies that only fuel gambling addiction.