A new study has found that young people who play free social casino games are significantly more likely to play for money with online and land-based casinos, and that they are more likely to develop gambling problems in later life.
The study was compiled by Canada’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). It revealed that twelve per cent of respondents aged between nine and thirteen had played on social casino games during the preceding three months. While children of this age are unable to enter land casinos or gamble for real money online, but there is no age restriction on free gambling games.
Free social casino games include many traditional casino games including poker, slots and table games, though rather than winning real money, players win points or prizes.
Type of play
According to the author of the study, Dr Elton-Marchall, there is evidence to show that social casino gambling may encourage children to link gambling with excitement and so lead to their transitioning to gambling with real money, partly because it is often easier to win social casino games than real money games, which gives younger people a false impression about the profitability of gambling.
The study revealed that 37 to 50 per cent of young respondents who admitted to gambling for money and playing social casino games also had low to high problem gambling, but only 10 percent of teenagers who gambled with real money but didn’t play social casino games suffered from problem gambling. The findings are likely to lead to calls on governments and gambling regulators to treat social gaming in the same way as real money gambling in land casinos or online.
Andie Hughes is a UK-based freelance betting and gambling writer with over a decade of experience in the industry, having written for Betfair, ESPN, Boylesports, Sporting Life and various other popular betting sites. Contact Andie at email@example.com.