The government of Denmark recently announced a new initiative to increase awareness of the risks of gambling among minors, reports Gambling Industry News . The Spillemyndigheden regulatory body has launched an educational campaign targeted specifically at children and teenagers to inform them of the potential harms associated with underage gambling.
The central message of the public awareness drive is "gambling is adult entertainment which contains risks." Through advertising on social media platforms popular among youth and outreach in schools, officials aim to communicate that gambling should be avoided by those under 18 years old. Research shows that introduction to betting activities at a young age can increase one's chances of developing problematic gambling habits later in life.
Gambling advertising has become ubiquitous in Denmark through television commercials, shirt logos, and other mediums. Critics have argued this normalizes betting for impressionable children. Spillemyndigheden's director expressed concerns over youth perceiving gambling as "harmless entertainment" rather than an adult pastime that should be approached cautiously.
By clearly imparting the genuine dangers linked to underage wagering, regulators hope to curb what some have labeled a growing public health issue. Studies estimate up to 80,000 Danes exhibit signs of gambling addiction, which carries severe social and psychological consequences. Officials plan to run the informational campaign through 2023, monitoring its impact on at-risk demographics.
The emphasis on transparency regarding gambling risks reflects broader European efforts to institute safeguards protecting children in the digital age. Last year, the UK Gambling Commission called for machine learning technology to verify user ages reliably and shut out those under 18 from accessing betting platforms. Several Scandinavian countries have state-owned gambling monopolies designed to promote responsible gaming practices.
Denmark's latest endeavor to enlighten adolescents on the pitfalls of premature gambling engagement demonstrates how regulators are adapting to address the unique factors that can make youth more susceptible to gambling disorders compared to adults. By clearly communicating these heightened dangers, authorities aim to provide students with the insights to make informed decisions regarding recreational betting activities.