How to find help
The risk of forming gambling habits while playing online games can be worrying, especially if you are the parent of a teenager spending too much time gaming.
Speaking to a school counsellor can help in terms of both early prevention to stop an addiction from developing and in changing habits to reduce and eventually remove addictive behaviours.
You can also seek help from the following organisations:
Preventive measures for parents
Talk to your child about gambling risks in online games: Have conversations with your child about the difference between playing games online for enjoyment and getting into addictive behaviour patterns. Express interest in the games they are playing, make sure they are age appropriate and monitor each game for gambling risks.
Set time limits: Set boundaries on your child's online use in general and teach your child to set his/her own time limits for games and abide by them.
Set Internet filtering: Subscribe to Internet filtering services on your child’s PC/ mobile devices to ensure the content he/she accesses is appropriate.
Remove any form of payment methods: Ensure your child does not have access on any devices to payment methods that will allow him/her to pay for paid elements inside games.
Getting help for a loved one
- Encourage them to seek counselling
- Redirect their behaviour by bringing them out or getting them involved in other activities
Getting help for yourself
If you are worried about your own addiction to games with gambling elements or that are forms of gambling in themselves, or you fear the beginnings of problem gambling:
- Find other activities away from online games.
- Set a spending limit on your online payment methods or remove online payment methods from your devices.
- Seek counselling immediately