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Study shows more teens are gambling online – is stricter age verification coming to online casinos?

Apr 17, 2009

Underage Gambling?
Underage Gambling?

With each passing year, teens and even children are becoming more internet-saavy. In fact, it’s quite normal for parents to ask their kids for computer help these days. But this all has a potential downside too – with so many online casinos offering freeplay, teens are able to cheat their way through a simple sign-up process and access free online blackjack and other games, despite the fact that they’re legally not allowed to play.

Right now, with most online gambling websites, the sign-up procedure that allows people to play for real money is fairly secure. But most sites also offer free play, which lets players enjoy online casino games just for fun or for practice. Access to these free games is less restricted, and it’s easy for young people to get through.

A recent study at the University of Oregon suggests that online gambling at these free sites is on the rise among 12 to 17 year olds. The study goes on to suggest that teens who participate in these free internet casino games are four times more likely to develop gambling problems later in life.

The answer? Stricter sign-up procedures and more thorough checks might help deter the rise of underage use of free casino games. This means more hassle for legitimate players, so it’s natural that there is some resistance to the idea from the online gaming community. Some point out that part of the burden also rests with parents, who need to take responsibility for monitoring how their kids use the internet.

Since online casinos will never stop offering free casino games, a solution needs to be found. In the meantime, it remains very easy to access free-play casino games on the internet, since so many online casinos offer them. It might soon get a bit more complicated to access these games, but they are here to stay.


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