Bass Coast,

Parents Alert To Gaming Apps For Young People

Bass Coast Shire Council Mayor, Cr Clare Le Serve, has called on parents to be vigilant in protecting their children against the boom in free-to-play gaming apps.

The Mayor made the call as part of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week which runs throughout Victoria from 20 to 26 May.

Cr Le Serve said that gambling is sometimes seen as a rite of passage for young people.

“Young people with a history of playing simulated gambling games are at risk of falling into a gambling habit,” Cr Le Serve said.

“Forty per cent of adolescents who engage in simulated gambling report a pre-occupation with gambling, or an intention to gamble in the future.”

Cr Le Serve said it was alarming that adolescents were spending about five hours per day engaged in digital media activities, including 2.5 hours using the internet where there is significant potential for exposure to simulated gambling.

The most popular simulated gambling games online are card games (11.9 per cent), electronic gaming machines (3.8 per cent) and sports betting (3.2 per cent).

Cr Le Serve said that research shows that parents and teachers are mostly unaware of the dangers being posed to children and teens by free gambling apps, which is one of the fastest growing sectors of digital apps.

Cr Le Serve and other Mayors throughout Victoria are taking a key role in Responsible Gambling Awareness 2013 to drive the message home to young people, as well as the community in general.

Responsible Gambling Awareness is a unique initiative involving the Victorian and Local Governments, the gaming industry and community groups working together to raise community awareness of the importance of a responsible approach to gambling

“We encourage all the community to heed the messages of the week,” said Cr Le Serve said.

The messages of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week are:

• Set a limit and stick to it

• Take just your allocated amount of money

• Don’t let gambling take over your life

For more information about Responsible Gambling Awareness Week 2013 visit