Researchers have warned that the constant development of social media platforms is making it harder for people to make a distinction between regular online games and gambling. The warning has come at a time when Irish authorities have shared their concern about underage individuals who have been exposed to the possible negative impact of gambling advertising across social media.
Dr Crystal Fulton, who works at the University College Dublin, has made a presentation to the Oireachtas Justice Committee, explaining that research participants had made suggestions that Irish people’s awareness of gambling risks should be raised from a very young age. Apart from that, Dr Fulton has shared that the changes in gambling and its popularization into the online sector makes it easier for such services to reach more potential customers at a younger age.
As Dr Fulton shared, the continuous and rapid development of social media has made it easier for gambling operators to use more sophisticated technologies in order to interact with their customers and with potential customers as well. She further shared that the lines between social media games which very much resemble gambling and actual online gambling options have been blurred. What is worse, there are currently both legal and technical problems associated with age verification means which are currently used by operators to allow their customers to access the platforms.
The research work was finalised in 2015 and an update followed on the next year. At the time, people who took part in the survey shared that more education and awareness of the matter was necessary, as underage gambling has been a major problem in the country.
Ireland Desperately Needs More Adequate Gambling Legislation
Dr Fulton also shared that recovering gamblers had described technology and technological development as one of the key factors which accelerate and deepen the effects of gambling because gambling on the Internet could be kept a secret for quite some time.
Despite the fact that there has still not been much progress on the 2013 gambling control bill, the Irish Government has given its approval to the establishment of a special gambling regulatory body. Lately, there has been much criticism associated with the lack of progress of the proposed changes in the country’s gambling legislation, as the latter has been out of date for quite some time now. Apart from that, the upcoming changes to the existing gambling laws could be challenging, as technology has greatly advanced in the last few years.
According to estimates, the gambling turnover of the country has been estimated at up to €8 billion on an annual basis. Under the latest trends in the sector, gambling has been moving to an online environment lately, with more traditional gambling options slowly diminishing in importance. The Irish Government needs to take action quickly in order to make sure that the country’s gambling legislation could address the new forms of gambling and the problems which are associated with them.