Young people often conceal their age and location when registering on Internet gaming sites. Kids today don't have to look far to find Internet gambling sites. Banner ads and pop-ups for casinos are everywhere on the Web, and often appear on sites popular with teens and even younger children. Many kids use sports betting sites where weekly winners are ranked and earn prizes. These sites are not considered to be hosting 'real' gambling activities because visitors don't play for cash. Nevertheless, kids learn how to bet on these sites, which also often link to online casinos.
Why would a site aimed at eight- to twelve-year-olds promote gambling style games? The answer is "grooming." The betting industry is one of the Web's biggest money-makers, and predictions are that Internet gambling will increase tenfold over the next few years. Grooming activities help create a generation of kids who find gambling an attractive and familiar online activity.
Tips for parents
- Discuss gambling and its potential risks with your kids. Examine your own attitudes and habits around gambling. Remember, you are the most important role model for your kids.
- Know where your kids are going online and what they are doing. Establish clear rules about what online games your children can play and keep Internet-connected computers in an open area, never in your children's bedrooms.
- Remind your kids that it is illegal for them to gamble online.
- Parents are advised to convey to their kids the following risks associated with online gambling:
- You can lose your money Online gambling operations are in business to make a profit. They take in more money than they pay out.
- You can ruin a good credit rating Online gambling generally requires the use of a credit card. If kids rack up debts online, they could ruin their credit rating - or their parents'.
- Online gambling can be addictive Internet gambling is a solitary activity. People can gamble uninterrupted and undetected for hours at a time. Gambling in isolation and using credit may lead to addictive gambling patterns.
What Makes Children Susceptible To Online Predators?
The natural emotional make up of children and adolescent teenagers very often facilitates victimization.
Regardless of what you may think about your own child, children of all ages lack the emotional maturity of an adult, and that can make them more susceptible to emotional, physical manipulation and or intimidation for a variety of reasons.
Additionally children often have a strong need for attention, validation, and affection. If the child's emotional needs are not being met sufficiently by friends or family it is not a typical for child to look elsewhere to have those needs met, psychologically speaking.
Combine trade with a lack of caution & prudence and you have a recipe for potential abuse. Remember, children are taught, even conditioned to respect adults and to obey their requests and demands. As a result children may be confused as to when it isn't appropriate to do so, as one might find in the case of online psychological manipulation and abuse and online pedophile or predator.
Lastly, children may often be reluctant to tell a trusted adult if they are being approached in inappropriate or scary way because of embarrassment, and the fear that they will be judged by the parent or adult.
And in some cases even the stigma of being a "tattletale" is enough to prevent the adolescent child from seeking the safety of parental intervention.
Therefore, if you suspect your child or a child that you know is in danger, it is your duty to get them to understand that they are not at fault and that YOU as an adult are there now to take care of them and situation.
Drugs and Dangerous Circumstances
The Internet doesn't cause young people to abuse dangerous substances or misuse weapons, but it can be an encouraging or enabling factor. The most important thing to realize is that if a youngster abuses these substances, there is almost always a larger problem that needs to be addressed. Nevertheless, these sites can be disturbing.
Most Internet filtering programs can block these types of sites. If you have installed one and are still concerned your child is viewing these sites, you might want to use a monitoring program so you know if your child is visiting them and you can take appropriate action.