The Growing Concerns of Underage Gambling

Pages: 5 (1664 words) Published: December 13, 2005
One winter night after partying with his friends an unidentified 19-year-old boy had made his way to his suburban home in New York. Upon his arrival to his home, he made sure he stopped by the local convenience store to pick up a pack of smokes and some chips. His intentions were to enter his house, sit down at his computer and stare attentively into his 18" inch computer monitor. His objective was to take his "roll" or account balance to the poker tables and make a run for it. The fact that he had been drinking all night, along with a few bong rips didn't matter. In fact it was commonplace for the boy to get intoxicated or "high" before he sat down to play cards. This being said, he entered his house and walked slowly downstairs to his haven. He lit up a smoke and began to play some cards. Within the first hour the unidentified boy had doubled his roll from his initial 2,000 to 4,000 after hitting a monster hand. He continued on his streak until his account reached 10k. This wasn't the first time he had managed to go on a roll like this, but he felt this time was different he. He thought to himself this was the night, "Imagine I could turn 2 thousand into 20 thousand, I wouldn't have to work for the rest of college". After the next 20 minutes the boy's aspirations of living off his poker winnings came to a crashing halt as one bad beat cost him 11 thousand and his entire "roll".

Accounts of gambling losses like that of the boy from New York are all too common in modern society. There is a growing concern of underage gambling as it relates especially to the Internet. The Internet has become an avenue for underage children to gamble their limited bankrolls away. Children have access to sports books, casinos, card rooms, and numerous other related gambling sites. The access they have is unlimited. They can use their parent's credit cards or their own for that matter to deposit funds and begin gambling within minutes. Underage gambling is a growing problem in society that needs to be regulated to protect the well being of our children.

Minors are easily able to attain access to Internet sites that allow them gamble without providing verification of their age. In addition minors are able to use their own personal bank debit cards to fund their accounts. In an interview I conducted with an online gambler, Frank Seminario, he stated," I am only 20 years old however; I was able to sign up for a poker site online. Unfortunately, my bank wouldn't allow me to purchase funds for they restricted gambling purchases. However, my friend's bank did allow, so all I had to do was give him money and he would transfer money to my account in less then 10 minutes (Seminario, Interview)." Having money transferred by a friend is only one of a variety of ways to get around the inability to fund your account using a bankcard. More and more Internet sites now allow for the funding of accounts using Western Union. Western Union acts as a 3rd party where the player will send money to an agent of the gaming site. Then the agent will forward the money to the Internet gaming site and they will in return fund your account. The whole process takes anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours but rarely any longer than that. Furthermore, to fund gaming accounts, players can send personal checks and or money orders to the gaming sites. When you send the checks there is no verification conducted to check your age. The only time your age is verified is in the initial sign up where you check a box that states you are over 21 years of age. This shows minors can easily obtain access to Internet gaming sites without proper verification of their age. The accessibility of Internet sites and the anonymity of the Internet allow for minors to engage in gambling readily. In addition, these Internet sites are typically offshore operations, where gambling is not illegal. In a report conducted by IGC (Interactive Gaming Commission), in which they were looking at underage...
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