National Health Service Agency (NHS) in the UK The first center for gambling and addiction was opened after reports from the UK Gambling Commission. It was found that 55,000 children aged 11-16 in the UK have ever had problems with gambling.
For some children, the problem of gambling addiction begins with playing online games.
BBC correspondent Becky Millikan spoke to the father of one of the children allowed to gamble.
"I've never dreamed that playing games can lead to gambling."
Steve sat on a bench in the church garden. He agreed to talk to me about my son's gambling problem. He worried because he had never given an interview before.
His 20-year-old son is recovering and healing himself. "But we can see each day."
"Three years ago, terrible. I don't want anyone to come across something like us. When he learned that his son was playing for the first time, we don't know what to do."
Steve described it. One night his son lost money, working the whole week in a few minutes.
It does what other parents do, helping to pay off the debt for washing children. I hope this is the last time But this is not the case
I told Steve & # 39; that I spoke to other parents whose children also had problems with them.
"We think it's a bit of a weirdo, like children," said one father. And at first Steve thought so too
He and his wife know that children sometimes gamble. But I didn't think something was wrong
But a year passed. He just found out that his son took other people to gamble and lost a lot of money.
"Roulette game on your website. The situation has been getting worse since then, ”Steve said.
Steve begins to realize that this is a serious problem. He and his wife don't know what to do. And he began to introvert. Don't go out to meet friends because I don't know what friends think.
Last year, he and his wife began participating in family therapy sessions for children addicted to games. This year, their sons began receiving treatment
After several months of research, Steve began to understand this and thought that the source of the problem began when his 12-13-year-old son was obsessed with online games. Especially football matches
Steve says his son will be immersed in peace for hours in a row. He doesn't understand how to play. And I don't know what technology it uses
"We all want to lead a simple, quiet life. Sometimes parents are lazy. He plays the above game. I didn't think it would cause any harm. "
But now Steve believes it. Football matches promote behaviors such as spending hours online. Which will eventually lead to gambling addiction
Steve says the game will persuade his son to buy additional items, such as buying players. Players don't know which player to buy. Steve said the win is similar to gambling. And children who play online games like their children are later addicted to gambling
He said it doesn't matter if the game is real money or fake money.
Dr. Henrietta Baden-Jones A psychiatrist at the new healthcare center at New Health said he has not yet established whether there is a link between gambling and games. And this issue is still under discussion.
"In this country we still have knowledge about both types of addiction. (Games and gambling) very few children We have to go to this place to talk and understand them. Then he collaborated with parliamentarians, politicians and health officials. To change the environment in which they live, "said Dr. Baden-Jones for the BBC.
After a difficult time, Now Steve decided to quit teaching and set up the GamFam charity to help families in similar situations.
Regardless of the complexity of the problem, Steve says that parents must always be aware of what their children are doing online. You must play an expert to help protect your child
"Research. Plan when the family will spend together." And watch what children do and most importantly Don't put debit or credit card information on your device. "
Steve says production companies often advertise these free games, but in fact, additional in-game products cost money. And some people find out again when they lose money
Recently, parliamentarians are members of the British Committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. He came out of this suggesting the sale of additional products in a game in which players must predict what to expect, should be defined as a form of gambling.
Westheimer, president of the Remote Gambling Association, says the process of getting children into online gambling is very difficult. He also said that There is a law prohibiting gambling near schools. Or ads designed to convince people under 25 years of age
Gambling is normal
However, Steve Jinnis of Ipsos Mori, a research company. I said this to the BBC A sample survey shows that children and adolescents find some aspects of gambling-related advertising attractive.
Stewart Kenny, founder of the gambling company Paddy Power, resigned in 2016. Because of not solving the problem of gambling addiction. He said that thanks to advertising, gambling has become more common among children. And it's almost part of watching football
"It's a dangerous thing. Because there are celebrity ads … It's natural for children to think gambling and football are the same. "
Steve said the situation in his family had improved. His sons played the last time in February, they are no longer ashamed of what happened. But he didn't want to tell the BBC the real name to protect his son
He hoped that the charities would go to different school activities and talk to parents and students.
He thinks that if adults fail to deal with this problem, it will become a "plague" that will spread too far.
"If I didn't do it, I wouldn't have a chance now. I think it's a necessity. I need to talk about it and help other parents. "