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Gambling activity among Australian teenagers

George Miller

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Gambling activity among Australian teenagers
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

The Growing Up In Australia Longitudinal Study of Australian Children found the most common gambling activity for 16-17 year olds was private betting with friends or family. However, some teenagers reported betting on sports and races which have strict age restrictions requiring people to be 18 years or over.

Australian Institute of Family Studies Director, Anne Hollonds said while most 16-17 year-olds did not gamble, a significant number – one in five boys and one in eight girls – reported spending money on at least one gambling activity in a 12-month period.

“The most common form of gambling for these teenagers was private betting with friends and family with no legal age restrictions, such as cards or maj-jong,” she said.

“However, about 5 per cent of 16-17 year-olds reported betting on sports games as well as horse and dog races which have strict age restrictions.  And despite acceptable proof of age being required for entry into gaming venues, about 2 per cent of 16-17 year-olds – some 9000 teenagers reported having spent money on poker machines, casino table games and Keno.

“Previous research has shown that heavy involvement in gambling during adolescence can lead to a variety of issues such as relationship problems and poor educational outcomes, and some of these young people might be at greater risk of gambling-related harm in the future.”

Institute researcher Dr Rebecca Jenkinson said the study identified a number of factors influencing teenagers’ gambling behaviours including individual differences, the family environment and the behaviour of friends.

“The study found that teenagers were more likely to gamble if they or their friends engaged in risky behaviours such as drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes or using cannabis.  On the other hand, they were less likely to gamble if their friends had a positive attitude towards academic achievement and were interested in doing well at school,” she said.

“Boys who had either been the victim or perpetrator of bullying at school were also more likely to take part in gambling activities. However, this association was not found to be significant for girls.”

Dr Jenkinson said some differences were also observed in young people’s gambling behaviour depending on their parents’ gambling behaviour.

“In households where no resident parent reported having gambled in the previous 12-months, 11 per cent of teenagers had engaged in some type of gambling activity compared to 17 per cent of teenagers in households where one or both parents had gambled,” she said.

“In addition, the percentage of girls who reported playing gambling-like video games was significantly higher if they had a parent who also played these types of games.  However, this was not the case for boys.”

Dr Jenkinson said simulated gambling embedded in some video games was also a risk factor which could increase the likelihood of teenagers gambling with real money and developing gambling problems in the future.

“Our study found that the number of 16-17 year-olds who had spent money on at least one gambling activity in the previous 12 months was significantly higher among those who had also played gambling-like games during that time,” she said.

“These results support the argument that playing gambling-like games may increase the likelihood of some teenagers transitioning to commercial gambling in the future.”

Dr Jenkinson said future policies and initiatives aimed at reducing gambling related harm to young people might consider limiting the availability and marketing of gambling activities, such as ensuring stricter enforcement of acceptable proof of age for online gambling apps and entry into gaming venues.

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Industry News

The key differences between the US and European gambling industries   

Alex Marginean

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

All over the world the gambling market is experiencing rapid growth. This is true in both the European and the US gambling industries.

A significant factor in this growth is the influence of online markets and increased online activity.

Indeed, the global online gambling market is expected to reach USD 97.69 billion by 2025.

While there are certain similarities between the gambling industries in Europe and the US, there are also significant differences.

Whereas most of the legalities involved in gambling in many European nations is relatively straightforward, in the USA it has been a much more complex picture.

Most European countries benefit from a relaxed approach to gambling. In the US, this is not always the case. Due to the makeup of the nation, individual states decide on the legal approach for how the gambling industry is controlled.

Historically, it used to be that only certain states, most famously Nevada and New Jersey, allowed gambling. That picture is now rapidly changing, as more states begin to pass motions to allow gambling in some form.

 

The Rules of Online Gambling

A major difference between the two markets has been the strong influence of online gambling companies in Europe, rather than in the US.

European countries, largely headed by the UK, were making much of the significant running in the internet-based revolution in online betting. Ireland is also a major player in the share of the world’s online market.

There has also recently been an upswing in online gambling activity from countries such as Norway, Finland and Italy.

But while the USA has been slower to catch on to the potential of online gambling, there has been recent evidence of new ambition in the American online gaming market.

 

Changes in online gambling in the US

A great example of a US online casino currently changing the way online gambling is viewed in the country, is DraftKings

The company offers a wide variety of games that are not available in Europe, either because of availability or viability. For example, the site presents gamers with the chance to play innovative new ideas based around sports popular in the US.

One of these titles is Baseball Blackjack, a competitive game where players pit their skills against the chance of the draw. The compelling gameplay is highlighted with a strong visual aspect of the draw taking place on the baseball pitch.

This title shows how strong the appeal of sports is in the US, and how companies often look for new ways to present them.

 

Betting on Sport in Europe and the US

Sports betting also varies considerably in both Europe and the US.

In the US, a bet, known as a sportsbook, is usually placed at the venue where the sport is being played. In most countries in Europe, a bet on a sports game can be made online or in-person at a ground.

The picture is not as clear-cut in the US. In California for example, sports betting is legal, but accepting wagers on sports is illegal. In order to bet on horseracing in California, only pari-mutuel betting is allowed. This is a form of betting where the total bets placed on a runner is put into a pool. All players who win the bet will then receive a percentage of the pool.

 

Image of gambling

The image of gambling also varies distinctly between Europe and the United States. In general, gambling has more of a negative connotation in the US.

The attitude in Europe is that a bet can add to the fun and excitement of watching a sports match or playing a game. In the US, this kind of activity was viewed with more suspicion. This is reflected in the history of the various laws and restrictions imposed on the industry in the US.

There are signs that this image is changing. This is largely down to a modification in the governance of state laws controlling gambling. There is also a growing awareness of how much the gambling industry can be of benefit to individual states.

 

The future of gambling in Europe and the US

Gambling of one kind or another is sure to remain popular in both Europe and the US. Games of skill and chance are bound to retain a fascination for players on both sides of the world. The key factor in how they develop really depends on how well companies can incorporate new ideas to keep games and formats fresh and appealing.

The core audience and targets of the gambling industry in both regions is a young one. In order to appeal to a younger technologically adept kind of player, the gambling companies need to be aware of what this type of player expects.

A growing combination of different forms of entertainment and new technology is also part of the picture that companies need to assess. Traditional sports such as American Football in the US and soccer in Europe are becoming increasingly infused with the latest inventions. The use of live feeds, new camera angles and online interactive options bring out the game in more detail.

Betting options and gambling features that fuse the various elements together is sure to be a part of this ongoing process. In order to be at the top of their game, betting operators need to be precisely aware of what their target audience wants and expects.

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Industry News

Career Opportunities in the Modern Gaming Market

Alex Marginean

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

On a continual rise since their introduction in the ’90s, the online gambling industry is on track to reach a market size of $77.4 billion by 2026. As a part of this growth, there are a significant number of different career opportunities available on all sides of the iGaming ecosystem. For those entering the career market or people just looking for a change of tack, the possibilities here are profound, covering many different disciplines.

source:pexels.com

Artistic Design

Careers in graphics design have been much more available in the age of the internet, and this is as true for online casinos as it is for everywhere else. For every game released, for every website that appears online, and for every advertisement that goes live, graphic designers have an opportunity to show their stuff.

For an example of this, consider what a player sees when they play bingo online. The primary focus of these players will be the games like Fluffy Favourites and Primate King, each of which is filled with original graphics and art. From here, moving banners also illustrate individual artistic endeavours, as does the website layout, buttons, and much more. Many sites like Buzz Bingo recognise that design elements are important to players, and will build them intentionally like this so that players have a positive and memorable experience.

 

Game Programming

For programmers, there exists a similarly broad range of career possibilities, though fundamentally these systems focus on the games themselves. At a base level, this means designing games that play properly, but beneath the surface, many more concerns exist. A strong example of this comes in a programmer’s understanding of statistics, where writing code that balances RTP and jackpot payouts is paramount.

This isn’t just a matter of writing code, it can also involve understanding and implementing mathematical concepts, and developing code that is as bug-free as possible. Possible programming careers even extend to testing, where AI needs to be developed and implemented to ensure each game will operate properly over hundreds or thousands of rounds.

 

Website Operations and Security

Holding casinos together are the websites themselves, which are built on the age-old foundation of HTML and CSS technologies. Here, designers need to be aware of aspects like mobile translation, performance concerns, and easily understandable code. In other words, it’s an evolution of a discipline that has existed for decades, only with a far greater concern placed on security than what most websites manage.

Ultimately, two strengths are shared by careers involved with the world of online gambling. The first is that the growing market means demand will be increasing until a popularity plateau is reached. With the recent growth in Asian and African markets, a natural end-point of this growth could be decades away.

Secondly, the evolving nature of online casinos means that those who seek careers in this area are never going to run out of work. Whether creating new games, updating websites, or implementing new security systems, work is a constant battle of staying up to date and adapting to new trends. Job security is an important thing, and online casinos can offer this security in the right circumstances.

 

While we can’t promise that careers in online casinos are being given away, they represent real opportunities for the right people. Whether building a portfolio or finding a perfect home, the potentials of this market are too big to ignore, so if these sound like something you’d be interested in, consider taking a look.

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Industry News

Playtika Promotes Erez Rachmil to Chief Technology Officer

Niji Narayan

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Playtika Promotes Erez Rachmil to Chief Technology Officer
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Mobile gaming company Playtika Holding Corp has promoted Erez Rachmil to Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

In his new role as CTO, Rachmil will oversee Playtika’s technology roadmap, at a time when the company is experiencing strong growth and expansion.

Rachmil, who has worked at Playtika for over seven years, has been instrumental in a number of key technology initiatives for the company. Rachmil joined Playtika as an IT director in 2014 to scale Playtika’s technology infrastructure and was promoted to Vice President of IT in 2016.

Most recently, Rachmil served as Senior Vice President of Research and Development for Playtika’s Casual games division.

With over 15 years of experience in technology and IT, Rachmil’s background also includes roles at large corporations such as Intel, HP and Amdocs, as well as fast-growing startups like 888.

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