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Last Updated: Friday May 26 2006 16:29 GMT

Fears over child gambling addicts

Too many kids have a gambling problem and the government should do more to help them, experts have said.

Kids can use slot machines as long as the amount they bet isn't too high, but some experts think this could lead to them becoming addicted to gambling.

Professor Mark Griffiths, of Nottingham Trent University, says all gambling for children should be banned.

The government says that new laws it is bringing in will help fight the problem of children gambling.

Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell admitted there was a problem: "At the moment, children can get too easy access to slot machines of higher value."

But she added that new laws would fight that problem: "They will be properly supervised, the law will be very clearly enforced."

However, some charities have called for even more to be done, and said that kids should be taught about the problems of gambling in class.

Your comments

Gambling is a waste of money!
Edward, 9, Twyford

I don't see the point in gambling, it's better working hard for money instead of wasting it on some luck machine.
George, 12, London

It should be banned but the games in the arcade should stay if you are gambling 10p or less.
Greg, 11, London

I love to play poker but I don't play for money. Most of the fun kids arcade games seem to involve gambling.
Sam, 14, Lancaster

Yes, I think they should ban gambling so that when children grow older they don't gamble all their money away.
Ben, 11, Londonderry

I don't think gambling should be allowed for kids or adults! It's a waste of money and a waste of time.
Jo, 12, Darlington

I think that it is wrong for children do be gambling. They should spend their money on clothes and going out with their friends.
Catherine, 12, London

Kids should not be allowed to gamble because it is inappropriate and unhealthy for them and may cause them to play more and more if they are not satisfied by their winnings.
Joe, 11, Neilston

It should be banned because gambling is not just bad for children but it is psychologically damaging to people.
Joe, 14, Aberdeen

I think gambling should be allowed because different people likes different machines.
John, 13, Wakefield

Kids should be allowed to gamble but only in small amounts and not for big money e.g. maybe at amusement arcades at the seaside in 1p or 2p betting games, but not a lot more.
Aleks, 13, Ipswich

I think that it is okay for children to gamble just as long as the money is not too high and children only use arcade machines in moderation.
Alex, 11, Ilford

I think children should not be aloud to gamble. We should be more concerned with our work then wasting our parents hard earned money.
Yared, 10, Derby

Children should not gamble because it effects their future.
Athira, 12, Muscat

I think that gambling is not a good thing to get addicted t and agree that if you try it once it is most likely for you to start doing all the time.
Mitzi, 8, West Stour

I don't understand how kids get sucked into gambling, I'm sure they have brains, they should be able to distinguish between something which is right or wrong.
Hamzah, 14, Milton Keynes

I think kids gambling problems nowadays are worse than in the 60's. We should do something to stop it before kids get carried away!
Beth, 11, Scarborough

When I was 12 and got 10 pocket money I went to my local chip shop and went on the machine but I came home with nothing and I felt guilty.
Ricky, 13, London

I have never gambled, and I never will, but my parents gamble when it's the Grand National.
James, 9, Belfast

I only ever go to arcades when I am on holiday because we don't have one near where I live. Sometimes I put 1p or 2p coins in to see if I can get a prize or get more coins, but only sometimes.
Lauren, 10, Isle of Lewis

I thought it was already banned!! But it really should be, shouldn't it, because if children become addicted now they will become more addicted when they're older!
Sumaiyah, 12, Leicester



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