General Article Gambling in video games is turning kids into addicts – the next PM needs to act

Topic Selected: Gambling Book Volume: 420

The government has washed their hands of the duty of regulating what is effectively gambling in a form of entertainment played by children.

By Max Anderson

For too long, we have ignored the fact that gambling mechanics – spending money for an uncertain reward – have infested some of our favourite childhood pastimes. Whoever the new prime minister will be, if they want to meaningfully address the issue of problem gambling in this country, they must tackle the spread of gambling mechanics in digital space.

Arguably, when we look back to our childhood, we can find these mechanics everywhere: opening a Kinder Surprise egg, collecting ‘Match Attax’ or ‘Panini’ football stickers, or battling with Pokémon cards. For years, we spent our pocket money buying these things in the hope of receiving that rare or special reward that would help us win that next game, or make us the envy of the playground.

Although they might seem harmless in this form, technological development has given these mech...

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