Experts say games that requires money – not skill – to improve the chance of levelling up can lead to problem gambling.
Experts say games that requires money – not skill – to improve the chance of levelling up can lead to problem gambling.

Pokemon Go could feed gambling addictions


EXPERTS are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of mobile and tablet games and off-premise betting.

UnitingCare Community Gambling Help Service counsellor Omar Mercuri told ARM Newsdesk that any game that required money - not skill - to improve the chance of levelling up could lead to problem gambling.

Often these games have poker machine styling but others appear harmless.

These include the incredibly popular Pokemon Go as well as Candy Crush and Hay Day.

"Any online game which involves and promotes the use of money to increase chances of winning, progress from one level to another or expand through the game can represent a high risk factor for potential gambling behaviours," Mr Mercuri said.

"This is due to the fact that these games encourage a cognitive link between the use of money and the excitement of winning some sort of bigger prize, achievement or reward.


"Other concerning factors are the wide range of audiences, demographics and age groups that these online games can easily reach."

Clubs Queensland CEO Doug Flockhart said he believed the "largely unregulated" online betting industry was having a greater impact than poker machines.

"Pokies are the most regulated form of on-premise gambling in the country," Mr Flockart said.

"It is important to remember that problem gambling does not just occur from poker machines or land-based gaming.

"Of significant concern is the increase of sports betting and offshore internet gambling, which is largely unregulated and it lacks the personalised contact and support offered by community clubs." - ARM NEWSDESK

For 24-hour support call The Gambling Helpline on 1800 858 858.


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