Gambling and its unique manifestations have a very strong presence on the internet. Multiple routes can lead to this unexpected addiction. Therefore, recognizing patterns that stimulate internet users to chase that dopamine rush is crucial to avoid the consequences of gambling. Especially that the current generation of kids and teenagers already have an internet dependency, so are more vulnerable to developing dangerous instant gratification patterns.
Make no mistake: children are not accidental victims but the primary target. Many betting sites find loopholes and deliberately target kids to make a profit. Some of them get sucked into it by flashy ads and video games, but there are also cases when betting sites used leaked school data to boost the number of underage gamblers.
Video games – a spiral of addictions
A lot of kids get introduced to gambling through video games. Loot boxes are a good example of how these companies encourage kids to spend money to win a rare prize. Games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) take it a step further –rare in-game items are sold in real life for money. The dopamine rush from getting a rare item is intoxicating for a young mind.
Games like CSGO have a substantial underage player base. When the interest keeps growing, gamers keep seeking out content creators on YouTube. These videos often have sponsorships to betting sites or even build their whole content around them. False promises of potential winnings keep brainwashing young minds. Out of nowhere, children become the product.
These infamous video game betting sites are truly disgusting inventions. Most games that promise a chance to win a rare digital item are roulettes with extra steps. Like in real casinos, the house always wins. If not cautious, a child can quickly transition from enjoying a video game to losing money to a rigged algorithm.
Okay, maybe not every CSGO gambling website is rigged, but many of them do not put enough effort to prevent kids from gambling. Strongly encouraged by content creators to try out the sponsored service, underaged gamers can receive personalized ads that fuel further gambling addictions. While looking for a better website that promises bigger winnings, kids can stumble upon suspicious websites that may mishandle their personal data.
Fighting a gambling addiction that is fueled by the love of a video game is not easy. Data protection and information control play a big role in protecting a child’s suggestive mind from gambling. Besides, ad blockers and useful tools like VPNs or affordable rotating proxies can protect these children online.
How betting sites use school’s data
Betting and casino websites took advantage of a huge breach of names, ages, and addresses of 28 million children in the UK.This data leak helped to increase the percentage of children who are gambling online. Although the betting sites deny these allegations, not a single parent would be happy with kids’ sensitive data in the hands.
If such a big database is so poorly protected, a child that browses the internet will encounter a lot of potential traps. A rotating proxy or a VPN can be a good safety net that protects your IP address if a kid stirs up trouble.
Data safety precautions
With so many ways to exploit kids on the internet, a responsible parent should create protective measures to avoid future exploitation. Use these tools to make web browsing a safer experience for every family member.
Do not use the same password!
Teaching your children to use different passwords for their accounts is an underrated step that increases your security. If you or your kid uses the same password for everything on the internet, one data breach will affect every account.
Avoid suspicious ads
Ads are a real enemy to an inexperienced internet user. uBlock Origin is a great browser extension that does a great job at blocking harmful ads and filtering traffic from gambling websites.
Proxies and VPNs
A simple rotating proxy or a VPN can do wonders to protect your online identity. Safe and anonymous internet browsing makes children less vulnerable to potential internet exploits children.