There is no doubt about it, playing free slots is a fun way to pass the time without the risk of losing any real money. They offer plenty of entertainment thanks to the exciting gameplay, bonus features, and game mechanics. However, how many people first experience free slots before then making their way over to real money slot machines? You’d imagine that the number is quite high.
With that in mind, should these free slot games come with age restrictions? As currently, there are no age restrictions on these casino-style games, so kids of all ages can play. They can connect to the internet and play free US online slot games just like slots.info without having to worry about verifying their age.
Why is No Age Restriction Worrying?
Gambling for real money is something that people underage are not allowed to do, and for good reason. Playing video slots is hugely popular among adults, as there is the chance to win sizeable sums of money for a relatively small amount per spin. However, free slots are often exactly the same games as the real money version, except you play with a virtual currency.
These games would attract somebody underage, as they often look like online games because of impressive graphics and animations. They also look and play similar to mobile games such as Candy Crush, which kids can download on their iOS and Android devices. Building up an imaginable balance is the key to success, so they are already teaching kids about the basics of gambling.
The problem is that in the same way marijuana is considered a gateway drug to more dangerous drugs, some feel that playing free slots will only lead to minors eventually making their way to real money slots. Once they turn 18, what is to stop them from signing up to an online casino and taking a chance? Would they have been tempted to if they had not previously had access to free slots? Of course, some will gamble whether or not they had previously played free slots, but surely that number increases because of the lack of age restrictions?
This does not even mean that all kids that make their way to real money slots will develop a problem with gambling. Many adults can control their habits and use gambling as a means of entertainment. They will only gamble with money they can afford to lose, not chase losses, and will know when to stop. However, some are the complete opposite of that. Surely we should do what we can to help prevent an increase in problem gambling – not the other way around?
Kids Exposed to Gambling Mechanics in Video Games
Of course, it is not just free slots and the lack of age restrictions that is concerning. There has been a lot of talk in recent years about video games and how they also expose kids to gambling mechanics.
We’re not talking about making in-game purchases so much, as that is controllable if a parent has their eyes on what their children are doing. Though there are stories of kids spending huge amounts without their parents knowing, there are parental tools that we can use to stop them from spending without our knowledge. Like with everything else, they have to come and ask if they want something.
The issue is with what it is they want to buy. Crates in video games have been under scrutinization for some time now. Purchasing a crate gives you a slight chance to win the most valuable items, while lesser valued items come easier. Sometimes these crates offer only a 1% chance of winning the most valuable items. This leads kids to want to continue buying these crates until they get the item they want. That is nothing more than gambling. Rather than selling these items for a set price, gaming firms place them in crates, knowing that kids will continue to spend until they get the item they desire.
Something has to be done to protect children. While we’re not suggesting going the China route by banning kids from playing games for over 3 hours per day, we should protect them against the harms of gambling. We need appropriate age restrictions on free slots and gambling crates in video games should be outlawed. Until that happens, it is down to the parents to keep a tight grip on what their kids are playing online.