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Who Should Protect Against Underage Gambling?

8 June 2011 by admin

childrenEarlier today, another writer at posed the question, “should the government be concerned about underage gambling?” In the post, the writer pointed out that a McGill University study determined that more than 6% of teenage males admit to having gambled online. The writer concludes that because underage gambling in the United States is an issue, it’s a good reason to push forward with regulation. I will offer a different solution.

I am against prohibition of online gambling in any form, as should be obvious. If government regulation is necessary for that to happen, I accept that as a necessary evil, though I would rather the government stay out of it. In any case, people on both sides are using protection as a reason for their stance. Those who oppose online gambling say it should be prohibited because we need to protect minors. Those who want regulation say it is necessary for the protection of minors.

The former is certainly wrong, because lack of regulation isn’t keeping the minors from gambling online. The websites still exist whether they are allowed or not; to think not having a law regulating the industry will keep people from gambling is to stick your head in the sand. As for the latter argument, it makes sense, but I have an alternate proposal.

Instead of the government protecting children from online gambling, I suggest someone else do that job: parents. Yes, I’m one of those crazy people who thinks that parents should be responsible for their own children. I also think it is the job of the parent, and solely their responsibility, to raise and protect them (obviously with the exception of protection provided by police, the military, etc.). I know how we can keep children from gambling online. Parents, don’t let them.

It’s not that hard. I don’t know what they do on the computer, lazy parents whine. That’s a cop out. Make it your business to know. First of all, they shouldn’t have a computer in their bedroom, where the can close and lock the door and have privacy. Have the computer out in the open where you can see what they are doing. When you’re not home, you can use “cyber nanny” software to block certain websites. You can also track what websites they are on. Whether gambling was a problem or not, parents should know what their kids are doing online. Though legislation clarifying the legal status of online gambling, or even legislation regulating it, would be good, it’s not necessary to protect children. For that, all you need is responsible parents.

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