Tips for parents

What you can do – tips for parents and carers

Being proactive is the best way to protect your child.

Many of the things parents already do to keep their children safe in the cyber-world will also help protect them from the risks of simulated gambling games.

There are some extra things you can do to minimise the risks of simulated gambling.

  • Don’t underestimate the value of talking to your child about their attitudes towards gambling. Keeping the lines of communication open and sharing your views about gambling can help young people build general resilience and manage exposure to gambling-like features in the online environment.
  • Help your child think critically about what they play. You could discuss:
    • What games does your child like to play?
    • Do these games involve simulated gambling? Or do these games try to make you play a gambling game to get ahead in the main game?
    • Why do people develop these games?  Often they link to online gambling sites.
    • How do the games use rewards to encourage you to keep playing?
    • How are the odds and rewards being manipulated to make you keep playing?
    • What are the differences between these games and gambling with real money?
    • Do these games have hidden costs even when they are free to download?
  • Depending on your child’s age you may wish to:
    • negotiate time limits for playing these games
    • discourage your child from playing simulated gambling games or other games which include some gambling along the way.
  • Find out if there are any classifications, warnings, or advice associated with the games your child or teenager is playing.  This might alert you that the game includes simulated gambling.
  • Look out for changes in your child’s activities, school or social behaviour which could be caused by your child’s online activities.
    • Are these related to online activities that might involve simulated gambling?
    • Does your child talk about these games a lot?
    • Does playing a game take up all their free time?  Are they choosing to play a game over being involved in other social, sporting or family activities?
  • Be a good role model in terms of the games you play and download. Young people are more likely to do what you do, than do what you say!
  • Do not give your child your credit card details or password. Make sure your child asks permission every time they wish to ‘upgrade’ in a game or turn off in-app purchase options by changing the settings on your phone. This will allow you to ask them questions about the game so you can decide if they should be playing it.
  • Keep electronic devices in a room that is open so that you can monitor the games they are playing.