In New Zealand, a major concern is the issue of underage gambling. Many recent reports have shown that children across the country are getting their starts in the gambling industry from a very early age, and politicians are discouraging parents from purchasing lottery tickets for their children and allowing them to take part in home games.
However, there is one situation that cannot be controlled by parents: mobile gambling. With the advent of smartphones, more children than ever have access to mobile gambling apps – and parents cannot stop them from taking part in poker and casino games on their mobile phones.
In the mobile gaming world, children are exposed to gambling activities. Three of the top 5 apps in the iTunes App Market are gambling-related, and there is nothing stopping children from downloading them.
Although they are free-play games, they expose children to gambling from a very early age. The major concern with this is that early exposure can foster the development of unhealthy gambling habits. It also portrays gambling in an unrealistic way, as allowing players to use play money distances them from the real world impacts of playing casino games.