Gambling Age Limits Can be Useless

There is an alarming rise of gambling incidents among kids and teens that gambling legal age limits have been imposed in different parts of the US and even around the world. This is attributed partly on the advent of online gambling. But some sectors feel its uselessness.

First, we cannot ban kids and teens from using the Internet. Even if we do, there's no way to enforce such ruling. Second, we cannot watch our kids all the time. We cannot always be on their tails to monitor everything they do in places they go to. Third, it's ridiculous to say gambling is bad for kids and then do it ourselves just because we're of age.

Many are alarmed at the rate underage gambling is rising. Our first impulse is to stop it, even by legislation, and outright ban it—not realizing we're merely adding strength to its power. We fail to see the psychology of restriction and freedom. What we understand is outright authoritarian repression—which always results to rebellion.

Restriction produces law breakers. When there are no laws there are no law breakers. There are some things that ought to be governed by laws, but not adolescence. We can't stop teenagers from being curious. The more we restrict them the more they crave for it. The trick to deal with adolescents is the psychology of freedom. But why can't we give them that?

Gambling legal age limits only make their curiosity more active. Why is it bad at certain ages and tolerable at another age? Age makes something bad now but good later? It sounds more a joke than a law. The same with smoking and drinking. Even if we enforce it with death penalty kids would probably still ignore gambling age limits. So what should we do here?

We forfeit kids the freedom because we ourselves lack it. Adults, especially parents, should convince kids that gambling should not be an addiction by setting themselves as examples. They should be free from the addiction. Many note that underage gamblers lose interest in their families. Probably because some parents devote less time with them.

Parents addicted to something else (not necessarily gambling) and giving less attention to their kids may soon find them also devoting time to something else. And gambling can be a delightful company for kids looking for quality time.

Gambling legal age limits are effective only for a while—as long as the scare factor is still on—but dies down soon. What's better is a sound life example.

Useful Links