October 3, 2023 3 min read


Concerns Rise over Gambling Exposure of Children in Australia

A recent report highlights the dangers of exposure of children to gambling activities and how video game casinos encourage gambling with virtual items

Gambling is identified as a serious public health problem in Australia. Known as the world’s biggest losers, Australians lose hundreds of millions of dollars every month, making the annual losses upwards of billions. While a major part of the population of the country spends hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on gambling each month, a new study warns about the dangers of gambling addiction among minors.

As announced by The Guardian Australia, there’s a growing concern about gambling addiction among minors, under the age of 18. The publication released new research into gambling addiction, highlighting the dangers of early exposure of children to gambling and the devastating impact addiction brings years after.

The new research cited data from Gambling Help Online, showing that for the 2022-23 financial year, the number of young people, age 24 and under, that reached out for help, increased by 16%. The worrying data revealed that out of the 2,136 total calls for help, some 600 came from youth between the ages of 15 and 24.

Virtual Items from Videogames Can Serve as a Gateway to Gambling

One way that children can get addicted to gambling involves the popular loot boxes and skins of weapons or other customization aesthetics that are available for popular video games. Such virtual items can be traded online via video game casinos. In addition to trading, those items can be exchanged for currency that can be used for gambling activities.

The latest report told the story of Steven, a young adult who is now 24 but started gambling online when he was 10 years old. He explained that online video game casinos enable gamers to gamble with their skins or loot boxes, exchanging them for currency that can be used for gambling. Additionally, Steven revealed that gamers who lose all their items can simply buy more and continue to gamble. “It completely circumvents the 18-plus age requirement for gambling. I started gambling when I was 10 using these sites,” he said.

In Steven’s case, the underage gambling activities grew to online gambling and addiction when he was 15. At the time, he said he lost some AU$2,000. According to him, the addiction to gambling pushed him into drug use along with other mental health issues he is just beginning to resolve.

The recent report comes at a time when Australia is actively seeking to implement changes to the gambling sector. Last month, lawmakers announced the introduction of new ID laws, seeking to reduce underage gambling and curb gambling harm. Under the new regulations, users online will be required to present ID cards before they can engage in gambling.

Another change that seeks to reduce the exposure of children to gambling-like activities is the classification of gambling games and loot boxes. The initiative seeks to restrict the access of children to games with gambling-like elements, including simulated gambling and social casino games.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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