Choosing a gift for your teenager is made easy with the help of a few familiar pieces, such as iPhones, iPad, Nintendo Wii, Xbox, and Playstation series. At first glance, these devices are anything but harmful. In fact, you might even consider gifting your 13-year old son an Xbox 360 for his upcoming birthday, or perhaps, a smartphone for achieving an excellent grade this school year. But the question is: are these gadgets really safe for your loved child?
Previously conducted surveys have tackled the increasing popularity of online gambling along with the rapid growth of the Internet. With the advent of iPhones and other high-tech devices, some experts believe that the web may continue to find opportunities to attract potential gamblers. Worst, your teens may be one to easily get influenced.
According to the KPMG latest report, Online Gaming: A Gamble or A Sure Bet?, the online gaming market represents one of the fastest growing segments of the gambling industry. H2 Gambling Capital, a leading supplier of data and market intelligence on the global gambling industry, puts the size of the global online gaming market at about US$21 billion, hitting US$30 billion by 2012. And with the consumers’ increasingly comfortable using their mobile phones for products and services such as mobile banking, wireless Internet via 3G networks, and picture and video messaging, mobile gaming is likely not too far behind.
One of the known dangers of Internet gambling is fraud over the web. Right now, the Internet boasts hundreds of sports-related gambling sites wherein an individual is required to enter credit card information and/or social security number to open an account. Sadly, many scammers are taking advantage of this trend and they will try to contact the gambler through online bookmaker sites.
Since teenagers are likely to lurk in online gaming sites, they also become the easiest target to hit. Hence, as parents, you have to teach your teens the rules for safer online gaming by encouraging them to keep personal information a secret and to create strong passwords for their gaming accounts.
It’s also critical to let your children know that online gambling can result to addiction, just like alcoholism and substance abuse. Several online gaming sites would initially offer free bets or give credit points to attract teenagers in playing more, until they eventually become hooked with the habit. To prevent this from happening, you may start exploring gaming sites with your children by checking the rules of the site and the rates of the games. It’s also better to play with your kids than let them be on their own.
Finally, there’s the issue of overspending among online gamblers. It’s also one of the warning signs you need to be aware of when spotting a potential gambler. Once an individual starts finding solace in online betting, they also become somewhat reliant to others for money to relieve a financial problem that arose due to gambling.
Although there’s already the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) that prohibits any person engaged in the business of betting or wagering (as defined in the Act) from knowingly accepting payments in connection with the participation of another person in unlawful Internet gambling, teenagers are likely to consider online gaming and betting as harmless pastimes. That being said, responsible parental guidance still holds a weightier influence so that teenagers also become responsible with the proper use of their gadgets when exploring the Internet.