KUALA LUMPUR: Gambling and betting may seem like harmless entertainment but they could adversely affect the development of children.
“Children are often innocent and live to feel excitement, fun and pleasure,” said consultant psychologist Valarie Jacques.
“Games of chance are fun and exciting and children do not have the maturity or capability to tell when to stop and when to start.
“Similarly, when they start playing any games and they are enjoying themselves, it is a challenge for parents to get them to stop,” Jacques, who is with the private sector, said in an interview.
“The child will only stop if the game gets boring, so if a child learns this as a habit then he or she will confuse the sense of making judgements and decisions in future and also not know how to create good balance,” she added.
However, Jacques said children would not have this problem if their parents monitor their time for fun and time for work and achievement.
“A lot of parents leave their children to play such games as the child will be occupied and leave the parents alone.
“Indirectly, this is also a form of rejection from the parent or caregiver,” she said.
Jacques also said drugs, alcohol and gambling all go together as the commonality was addictive behaviour.
These three are big social issues which are also related to the large industries that are supporting them, she added.
She said casinos and gaming industries have made toys for children and nowadays they include games in arcades, computer games and online games so children from young are being exposed to feeling this high sensation and thrills.
“A person who has a positive image of self-esteem and confidence does not need these thrills and so games during festivals or with family and friends are for fun and can be put aside while life goes on.
However, the challenge is for people who are deeply wounded in life and feel they are not good enough. The feel they need to succeed and make it big and get there fast, she said.
Jacques added that if these people did not feel the high then it was as if they would want to die and that was scary.
That is why the gamblers or addicts are highly motivated to keep up with the habit.