Problem gambling is a significant societal concern that is set to get bigger.

Game and gambling operators are chasing the proliferation of new technologies readily accessible via your phone or tablet. This is breaking through traditional barriers to advertising, leaving the switched-on generation in the firing line.

Gambling operators may feel they have hit the jackpot as a result of the computer revolution, which is enabling gambling literally anywhere, anytime.

Gaming has made gambling even bigger business, with the market for the social casino ‘games’ alone – which are among the most popular – predicted to grow to be worth more than US$4.4 billion (AU $5.75b) this year.

There are more than 2500 online gambling sites, most of which operate outside Australian regulations. These sites allow Australians to gamble using an estimated 200+ different payment methods – many do not require proof of age.

So rife is gambling already among teenagers, we can expect about one in five Australian adolescents to gamble – this is based on our recent study investigating the impact of the changing representation of gambling online.  Our online survey of more than 500 adolescents from 12 to 18 years of age also found that 60 percent of those teen gamblers do so online.

Gambling has a growing presence on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Even children are increasingly exposed to and interact with gambling themes, brands, and games because of the difficulties in age-gating social networking sites.

Research has found that two in five adolescents have seen advertising or branding for gambling operators on social networking sites, including content shared by other users. The content appeals to teens in particular, by enabling gaming via social networking sites in real-time, for short or long sessions, on multiple devices, while alternatively enabling solo-play for a different audience.

– Sally Gainsbury

Read More: Gambling Operators are Cashing in on Teens’ Addiction to Online Games
Image by Esteban Lopez from Unsplash