The Daily Mirror reported that many gambling experts in the UK are not happy with the fact that social media sites such as Facebook are advertising casino games. They believe that it exacerbates problem gambling even further.
The experts said that throughout Facebook there is “an explosion of Las Vegas-style casino games”. It allow teenagers to play games for fun, but at the same time allows players to purchase virtual credits with real cash.
The Daily Mirror pointed out that in the UK there are 3 million Facebook users between the age of 13 and 17, a possible one million are younger than 13 pretending to be older than their actual age.
UK Experts on Social Gaming’s Ramifications
Dr. Carolyn Downs from the University of Salford notified the paper that Facebook is creating problem gamblers at a very young age. She said that her teenage daughter became upset when she lost her virtual money while she was playing a social game.
Dr. Downs told the paper the following, “It’s well-established that the younger the children start gambling, the more likely it is they will become habitual gamblers and also problem gamblers. It’s a long-term, life-long risk. What we’re doing is setting up these kids to be problem gamblers as they go through life.”
Many are fully aware that Facebook intends to offer real money gambling via its website. Not so long ago many of Facebook’s big wigs held a meeting with approximately 20 gambling operators to discuss the possibility of Facebook gaming licenses.
In the corporate world the idea of social media gambling may sound very lucrative, but before its receives the green light in the United Kingdom politicians will first have a look at its ramifications.
Policy and Development Director for the UK Gambling Commission, Mandy Barrie said, “This is a really rapidly-moving area. We need to think through very carefully any risks that it presents particularly for young people. There is a link between early exposure to gambling and developing a problem in adulthood.”