Age restrictions enforce legal actions. Gambling is no exemption since just like alcohol, gambling has addictive potential. Age restriction maintains a balance by curbing out under age gambling. In most continents of the world, the legal age for gambling is 18 though it could vary in different regions.
When you walk into a casino, it is always one of two things that will happen – Win or Lose – and the risk of losing comes with different levels of anxiety especially for an underage gambler which is not supposed to be a thing, experiencing such could be detrimental to health.
No doubt we have wealthy families the age restrictions brings value to the game when a casino is littered with under aged children the game loses its value. It gives our children the wrong impression about gambling and life in general. This could trigger future criminal activities.
The societal risk of gambling can be encompassing for an underage it can lead to mental breakdown and other mental related ailments.
Although some of our children already have fake identity cards it has been recorded in some casinos in Europe and south America that the increase in under age gambling has become a major concern to the government, thus some of this casinos has been shut down until further notice.
Reasons for age restrictions in gambling
They are many reasons for age restrictions in gambling some of them are as follows;
- Physical and behavioral problems
- Social and emotional problems
- Economic problems
Physical and Behavioral Problems
Physical challenges are bound to arise especially when the child is having difficulties with sleep; he/she tends to lose value for basic hygiene. The child now becomes nonchalant to safety help tips, for the children who wins by a stroke of luck becomes promiscuous they involve themselves in abusing drugs and alcohol.
It can be very critical when the reverse is the case the need to consume alcohol is inevitable, these activities can lead to major health challenges like cancer, mental breakdown this in turn affects their academic pursuits.
In school they seem distracted and anti-social they seem to feel they are not on the same level with their colleagues because they now claim they have a ‘’bigger problem.’’
Social and Emotional Problems
This problem is usually bottled up and can be very hard to detect from the three problems this is usually the genesis. When you see a child losing interest in activities of his/her age group it’s a major concern or when you get a call from the principal about your ward involved in a fight at school it goes beyond anger issues a need to decipher its roots is encouraged.
The social problem attributed to gambling in underage can come from close family members or someone close to him/her. They now see it as a way of life.
By distracting themselves from the reality of accumulated loses they think they are dealing with the problem. Some of them end up really depressed others start having mood disorders.
In recent times statistics has also shown the increase in underage mortality rate due to suicide after stealing family funds for gambling.
Here the government is affected. When the ratio of underage gamblers supersedes the non-gambling peers it can cripple any economy. When a countries database is revealed the number of sane children in a country is indirectly the countries future Gross Domestic Product (GDP) determinant when underage crimes increase the country would have a greater number of children in juvenile.
In some countries underage gambling is a very serious offense to both parties that is why they are strict laws the government has put in place to reduce it.
A country can also be termed ‘’unproductive’’ when its youthfulness is threatened.
How Age Restrictions Regulates Gambling
Just like driving and consumption of alcohol has age restrictions gambling ought to have, when a casino is suspicious of a gambler due to age doubt it becomes duty bound to involve the police through proper advertisement and acting with the code of advertisement would reduce underage gamblers.
- Proper Advertisement
- Legal Action
When making an advertisement especially when it concerns gambling the choice of words, and the visuals matters a lot in order for the message not to be misleading the code of advertisement needs to be obeyed because they are many underage listeners.
Different countries have different codes of advertisement that improves society and community standards especially on issues related to health and safety.
What really happens when an underage is caught in a casino? They are charged for misdemeanor which is usually accompanied with community services and heavy fines as the case may be. Sometimes the parents are charged along side with the children and it reflects as part of their criminal records. Although a casino before opening full service has a legal binding document which states the rules and laws of the government explicitly.
The casino ensures these laws are strictly obeyed by making provisions for casino security that comprises of physical and technical incase of fake identity card. These states laws varies for example in America Nevada, Missouri and New Jersey does not allow gambling for persons under the age of 21 but Washington allows from the age of 18 other states does not allow gambling at all.
The major lapses in legal action is virtual gaming were age restriction can easily be bypassed in most countries faulting online gaming laws have little or no legal action except for cases like money laundering and racketeering.
Conclusively age restrictions serve as a guild in regulating underage gambling as we have seen the implications it can have in a teenager. In stopping the menace of underage gambling the parents and the government must work side by side. Firstly the parents at home tracing the mood disorders of their children and the government making sure gaming laws are strictly obeyed and punished when defaulted.
A countries tomorrow rest in the hands of our children we are therefore duty bound to protect them in our best interest!