Youth gambling

gambling addiction

A middle school student who came to the company said at first, “Pay off 5 million won in your son’s gambling debt”

Last year, Kim Han-mo (pseudonym) was humiliated at work. I was having lunch with my colleagues and working as usual, when children the age of middle school students called ‘son’s friends’ came to visit. To Kim, who was bewildered by the sudden visitor without prior contact, the children said, “My son borrowed 5 million won from us, but he can’t pay it back, so I ask my father to pay it back.” After calming his startled mind and letting his children go, Mr. Kim was shocked to find out what he was doing to his son. His son, while gambling illegally online, opened up his hands with his friends, which ended up being unable to repay the principal and interest. “How can I even come to my father’s work?” the son said another surprising story. “I also went to another friend’s parents’ job to get money.”

gambling addiction tripled in 5 years

As in Kim’s case, there are many more parents who are faced with an absurd situation. This is because the results of a survey are showing that youth illegal gambling is on the rise every year. According to data submitted by Congressman Kim Seung-su of People’s Strength on the 3rd from the Korea Gambling Management Center and the Gambling Industry Integration Supervision Committee, 12,950 cases of youth gambling counseling were conducted between 2017 and 2021. According to the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service, 7,063 adolescents were treated for gambling addiction during the same period. The number of adolescent gambling addiction treatment cases increased from 837 in 2017 to 2,269 last year, about a threefold increase in five years.

Reasons and standards for addiction to illegal gambling these days

Some experts believe that the culture of hot and cold drinks, such as the ‘coin jackpot’, has had an impact on youth gambling. A counselor who was in charge of counseling for youth gambling addiction at the Korea Gambling Problem Management Center said, “Although access to illegal gambling has increased, the relative deprivation of children has also increased as teenagers who have made jackpots with coins become an issue.” He explained, “As these achievements become the object of envy, children focus on the result rather than the process, dreaming more of a hot-and-tumble spirit, and fall into gambling.”

Youth gambling, calls for secondary crimes

The number of youth arrested for illegal gambling is also increasing. According to the National Police Agency data released today by Rep. Kim Seung-soo, a total of 381 youths were arrested for illegal gambling in the past five years from 2017. Of these, 192 out-of-school youths accounted for about half (50.4%). Out-of-school adolescents refer to adolescents who have been absent for more than three months after entering elementary, middle, and high school, and adolescents who have been expelled or dropped out of middle and high school.

A youth gambling addiction counselor said, “If you visit a school for gambling addiction prevention education, you will find that children are exposed to gambling much more than you think or statistics. “There are many forms of intimidation and pressure on parents,” he said. “What is particularly worrisome is the fact that someone’s victim is also someone else’s perpetrator,” he said.

Juvenile illegal gambling can lead to illegal activities such as insurance fraud and prostitution in the process of raising funds. Adult criminals also use adolescents as “tools”. A counselor said, “To raise money for gambling, a student who worked part-time as an adult illegal gambling money carrier was greedy and took some money. Then there are cases where I was severely assaulted by gangsters,” he said. He also pointed out, “There are cases where adults who run illegal gambling sites have their students do that to easily avoid the eyes of the investigative authorities.

“I can’t fix it with my will… We need to do a campaign.”

This is why it is pointed out that a more active youth gambling addiction treatment system should be prepared. Seung Jae-hyeon, Ph.D., Korea Institute of Criminal Justice Policy, said, “There is a Korea Gambling Management Center under the Speculative Industry Integration Supervision Committee, but it lacks the functions, manpower and budget, and does not have the active authority to shut down illegal gambling sites even after checking them.” “Gambling cannot be corrected by will, especially if you are a young person with strong impulsivity, you need a more individualized treatment program rather than a mechanical education such as ‘compulsory completion of 30 hours of preventive education’.”

Rep. Kim Seung-soo said, “Because various programs are conducted around schools, it is easy to be placed outside the school in a blind spot. It should be done,” he suggested.