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Gaming vs gambling

The line between gaming and online gambling is definitely blurry! "Free-to-play" games, apps and websites offering simulated gambling can be entertaining, but despite their name they could still cost you time and money.

Parents should be watchful

Kids who are playing games online are not immune from gambling harm, so parents should keep a watchful eye on the games their children are playing.

Tips for parents and teachers

  • Be wary of ads that appear in the apps your children are using. These ads may click through to gambling apps.
  • Turn off the App or Play Store to limit apps accessed by choice or accident.
  • Turn off in-app purchases option so your child can’t access more credits.
  • Show interest in the child’s use of apps and play together.


  1. Kim, H.S., Hollingshead, S., Wohl, M.J.A., (2016). Journal of Gambling Studies Who Spends Money To Play for Free? Identifying Who Makes Micro-Transactions on Social Casino Games (and Why). University of Calgary. Carleton University.
  2. Wells, N. (2015). The shocking truth about mobile gaming. CNBC. Retrieved from:
  3. Victoria Responsible Gambling Foundation,(2013). The Responsible Gambling Foundation. Retrieved from:

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