Media Announcement: The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey (CCGNJ) would like to advise parents and other concerned adults that a new trend in online video games is targeting teens to engage in gambling. Casino-style games are available to play online, on mobile phones, or through social networking sites. The games are targeted at younger audiences with humorous or engaging content. While some of these games may be “free to play,” there are many incentives to entice users to spend real money on the games, which often mimic real online gambling. Even though the players do not earn real money in these games, they are engaging in behaviors that encourage gambling habits.
Part of the problem is that it is very difficult to regulate the age of players in online games. Even when a game requires that players be a certain age, the information can be easily falsified. A study conducted in Australia showed that adolescents who had spent money on social casino games were more than twice as likely as their peers to gamble with real money and to develop symptoms of problem gambling.
Online gambling behaviors among youth are not just limited to casino games, however. The popular first-person shooter game, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has spawned its own gambling pool. Highly competitive tournaments between popular players and watched by millions often drive young people to bet real money on the outcomes, much like gambling for sports in Monmouth, NJ. Not only that, but collectible “skins” that are available for the game’s weapons often fetch high prices — sometimes exceeding thousands of dollars — in an online marketplace.
CCGNJ advises parents to be mindful of their children’s online habits, especially with games that involve spending real money. They also advocate for communicating openly with adolescents about why these games may lead to destructive habits later on. Anyone who is in need of assistance to help someone with a gambling problem, such as sports betting in AC, is encouraged to contact CCGNJ by visiting their website at http://800gambler.org/ or calling 800-GAMBLER.
About The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey
The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey is a non-profit, private organization dedicated to helping individuals seek help for their disordered gambling problem, and for concerned friends and loved ones to confidentially express their concerns about someone close to them. Their 24/7 hotline is 800-GAMBLER. The Council also works to train professionals in the fields of gambling addiction and recovery.
For more information, please visit http://www.800gambler.org.
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