Surge In NSW Underage Online & Mobile Casino Players

Tia Winter | 05 February 2021

Recent reports have revealed disturbing information about people under the age of 18 playing online and mobile casino games for real money rewards in New South Wales. With individuals as young as 11-years old either taking part in these specific titles or playing games that simulate gambling in some way, the worst part is that their parents are assisting them.

The NSW Office of Responsible Gambling survey showed that roughly 40% of youngsters between 12- and 17-years old are playing video games. But not only that, they are using apps that bear a very close resemblance to mobile casinos and engaging in what looks like real wagering. 551 young people were divided into different focus groups and participated in the survey.

Underage gambling is totally illegal across Australia, but the report nonetheless found that 30% of those who took part in the study had bet real money over the past 12 months.

Link Between Loot Boxes & Gambling

There has been a growing trend in recent video games that sees children being pushed to spend cash on loot boxes, or in-game items. These either give them the chance to win something special or contain character boosts or other rare items. It’s been established that kids playing these kinds of games are taking part in activities that resemble real gambling like that available at mobile casinos. This could have serious consequences.

54% of children gambling with real money, further, are doing so with the consent of parents or legal guardians. And 58% of these come from homes where adults regularly engage in real money gambling as well.

The Legal Consequences

Australian land-based, online, and mobile casinos won’t get off lightly if they’re found with underage players on their premises or using their services via the internet. Just last year, in August, the Star Casino was found AU$90 000 by Liquor and Gaming NSW, for example. This was after regulators found out that the venue had allowed 3 minors onto its gaming floor and let them gamble.

This unfortunate trend can, thankfully, be kept in abeyance at top online sites thanks to the widespread commitment to responsible gaming that the majority of operators have embraced. Along with tools and contact information for organisations that can assist with problem gambling, sites outline their dedication to preventing anyone under 18 to play their games. Furthermore, no payout requests get processed without verified documentation to help in this area.