TIME TO END CHILD GAMING!

The gaming industry has experienced significant growth and development since the introduction of the Gaming Act 2006, Act 721.

The market continues to grow with the expansion of sports betting, scratch card operation, casinos, route operations and other forms of gaming.

However, the growth with the benefit of employment generation and investment is not without problems.

One of the problems is child gaming which has become a concern in recent times.

Aside child labour, child gaming is one of the activities that make children truants and rob them of their future prospects.

These problems are evident across drinking spots as slot machines, popularly called jackpots, litter the city with children seen slotting coins into them to double their monies.

The saddest part of it is that some children in school uniforms have also substituted those centres for their classrooms all in an attempt to make quick money.

The situation has worsened with sports betting firms also joining the fray with productive youth, some below the age of 18, flooding these game centres day in and out.

This is worrying as section 48 of the Gaming Act states that “A person responsible for a gaming machine shall not permit a child to use the gambling machine or to enter a place where the gambling machine is operated.”

Alarmed by the violation of the above stated section, the Gaming Commission, has indicated that it will soon embark on an exercise to clamp down on illegal operators.

The intended exercise, according to the Commission, is also meant to ensure that minors do not engage in any form of gambling.

This is, however, not the first time the Commission will be embarking on such an exercise to sanitise the gaming industry.

Earlier this year, the Commission set up a similar taskforce to clamp down on illegal gaming operators and gambling centres that are patronised by children.

Made up of officials of the Commission and the Ghana Police Service, the taskforce seized more than 50 machines used by the illegal operators in Accra alone.

The decision of the Commission to ‘revive’ the taskforce shows its resolve to end child gaming in the country.

We urge it to go the full haul by enduring the challenges that may come with its intended action as well as educate people to be conversant with the Gaming Act in order to end the attack on the moral fabric of the country’s future generation.

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