Wager-based video games could be gateway to addiction - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Wager-based video games could be gateway to addiction

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Psychologists said video games could lead to a gambling addiction for kids. Psychologists said video games could lead to a gambling addiction for kids.

Valley casino's could be getting more players, earlier in life. A new bill would lower the gambling age in the Silver State to 18, but thanks to technology, child psychology professionals said some kids may already be addicted.

"(My kids) could spend hours with this game," David Tricot, a parent with two kids who love video games, said. "We limit them, but we don't forbid them."

Younger generations are growing up with dozens of devices in their hands, Tricot said. 

"You know any type of screens," he said. "It's like an addiction."

Clinical Psychologist C. Philip Colosimo, Ph. D. said it can become an addition, and advancing in levels and earning coins is something that is very similar to what our own city of lights offers adults.

"If you're playing a video game that requires marksmanship and killing the monsters, that really excites them," Colosimo said. "Sort of an excitement seeking behavior develops."

Colosimo said he's seen parents use gaming as a coping device to settle kids down.

"The child then finds that as a way to cope with his everyday problems," he said. "Many parents will go and find their kids at three in the morning playing their video games."

Colosimo said there are ways to make sure your child doesn't become a statistic.

"Scheduling is the best thing to do with children," he said. "It does require parental supervision and activities."

Tricot said he agrees; that's why his kids get special time for games.

"Anything that can be addicting, can lead to another addiction," Tricot said. "Put limits on the number of hours spent."

Psychologists did not suggest parents throw out their children's video games, but said it is best to explain to kids what gambling addiction is and why they should not spent tons of money trying to advance in the virtual world.

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