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Thousands of kids in the UK fall victim to skins gambling sites every day

You know there are plenty of threats facing your kids online. You want to protect your children…but did you know they may be lured into compulsive gambling through simple quirks and workarounds in popular video games?

We’re talking about skins gambling: a dangerous practice that already affects hundreds of thousands of children in the UK alone.

What is Skins Gambling?

Skins gambling describes the use of any kind of virtual goods, including in-game currencies, items, or level unlocks, as a stand-in for real currency for the purpose of gambling online. The practice is often associated with betting on professional gaming matches, but it can be associated with any internet-based game of chance.

Reports suggest that a shocking 370,000 children between the ages of 11 and 16 in the UK have gambled online in the last week. Of those, roughly 25,000 children can be identified as problem gamblers.

In many cases, these young gamblers are wagering via in-game skins, and the problem is only getting worse. In fact, illicit skin gambling is projected to become a $13 billion industry by the year 2020!

Why is Skins Gambling So Dangerous?

The primary threat posed is that it indoctrinates an entire generation of young gamblers. Children and teenagers are very susceptible to addictive behaviours, so developing a betting habit at a young age can very easily carry over into adulthood.

Kids don’t understand the full weight of responsible gambling. While an adult may be able to place a bet occasionally without it turning into a problem, a child could easily lose hundreds or even thousands of pounds without even realising it.

There’s also the potential for kids to end up on untrustworthy websites. Remember: skins gambling is an illicit activity. Sites that enable this practice are operating in the shadows, and any of them could install malware on your device, or even steal personal and financial information from your child.

What Can I Do About It?

The UK government, as well as Valve, the company who owns the immensely popular Steam gaming platform, have attempted to crack down on these sites. However, there is only so much they can do. You’ll need to step in and exercise parental control to protect your children against this threat.

Start by opening a conversation with your children. Ask if they’ve heard of skin gambling, as well as other online betting tactics such as loot boxes. It’s important that your children understand the danger that compulsive gambling poses…and how easy it can be to fall into these behaviours.

You can also place tighter controls on your own payment information to better control how your kids spend online. 3-D Secure offers some protections, and many devices and gaming platforms allow you to activate built-in restrictions to prevent abuse.gamban lock

No single tactic is foolproof…but there are tools at your disposal that make protecting your children easier. gamban® puts the power in your hands to deploy parental controls and block access to skins gambling sites.

Protect your finances. Protect your family. Get started exploring gamban®’s innovative solutions to stop skins gambling today: