Online GamblingMany parents are shocked to discover that most teens participate in some form of gambling. According to the National Research Council (NRC), the majority of adolescents in the United States have gambled recently. While a large portion of this gambling likely happens in the “real world” in the form of card games, sports betting, and the like, kids are increasingly turning to the Web to roll the dice.
### The Problem
Gambling is illegal for minors across all 50 states, so how could it be possible that teens are routinely laying a bet in the virtual world? The answer? Offshore gambling operations. These websites are headquartered overseas and therefore are not bound by U.S. laws. Often, all a kid needs is a credit card or a debit card to get in on the game. Since minors don’t often carry plastic, it will likely be your credit card footing the bill.
### The Consequences
While the most obvious consequence of gambling is the risk of losing a lot of money, there are other negative repercussions of making a bet online as well. If your child’s “game” was to get out of control, you could be dealing with long-term damage to your credit score, which could prevent you from making a big purchase in the future like a house or a car, for instance. Worse, your child could develop a habit that could devastate his own financial future. Remember, gambling can be addictive! In fact, since online gambling is done in solitary, it can be associated with an even greater risk of addiction than “traditional” gambling.
### The Solution
While there’s nothing you can do to prevent someone overseas from setting up a gambling operation on the Web, there is something you can do to protect your own child. Although you should certainly talk with your child about the risks of gambling—both on and offline—this isn’t always enough to keep your child from exploring on his own. Parental control apps like Qustodio, however, allow you to regulate which types of sites your child can and cannot visit. Within seconds, you can protect your child from the thousands of gambling sites online, simply by checking a box on your virtual dashboard. That way, you can rest assured that while your child is surfing the web, there is no money exchanging hands in the name of “fun.”
Take the first step to protecting yourself and your child from the dangers of online gambling. Download Qustodio today.