Irish schools to introduce lessons on gambling and gaming addiction

Video game and gambling addictions are serious issues for many parents as their children are spending extreme amounts of their time on these addictions rather than doing productive stuff. Video games and online gambling has pulled many children across the world away from studies and curricular stuff. Because of this, the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations, and Assessment, Ireland has decided to include lessons against gaming and gambling addiction to raise awareness in children of age 11 to 14 years old. The Council for the Curriculum, Examinations, and Assessment have developed these lessons and are now urging schools to include these lessons in their curriculum. These lessons make sure to educate children about all types of gambling, whether it be on scratch cards or in online games. 

There are already many schools that actively raise awareness about gambling addiction. Many schools in the Northern part of Ireland have included lessons against gambling by the Gambling with Lives charity. Gambling with Lives charity started in 2018 and was set up by families who had witnessed suicides due to gambling addictions. Through these lessons, these schools make sure to educate youngsters on how gambling companies lure people in and what kind of marketing strategies they use to do so. According to the CCEA, for now, these lessons will be added to the curriculum of students who have the Learning for Life and Work subject, between the age of 11 to 14 years old. For students of this age group, gaming is a big part of their lives. They consider gaming to be a better way of enjoying and relaxing. Hence, CCEA has advised teachers to use gaming to get the attention of students and get them invested in these lessons. So far, CCEA has provided a total of five lessons that cover topics such as gaming and gambling awareness, management of their free time, etc. The important objective shared by CCEA is to educate students on how gaming and gambling companies use brain psychology to trick children into playing these games more and spending more money on these gambling sites. These lessons especially highlight the marketing practices used by online gaming companies which encourage children to spend in-game on several items such as loot boxes and in-game skins. 

The online gaming industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, especially because of its non-regulated market. Online games, especially mobile games offer easy payment options with no limit on spending. Because of this, many children spend on these mobile games using the saved credit or debit cards of their parents. After spending on loot boxes and in-game skins, children become entitled to keep playing the game for unhealthy amounts of time. Because of this, children spend most of their free time playing video games on gambling on in-game skins rather than playing outdoor games or studying and doing other extracurricular activities. CCEA, through its lessons on gambling and gaming addiction, is planning to resolve these problems and direct these youngsters on the right path. With the rapid expansion of online gambling and gaming, many countries are also looking actively into addressing these situations.