Children are becoming problem gamblers due to a legal loophole

A report from the UK Gambling Commission reveals that children are being lured into gambling through “skin bets” in online games

Huge numbers of children are gambling online, the UK Gambling Commission reports. Around 25,000 children aged between 11 and 16 meet the definition of a problem gambler, according to a psychological questionnaire. And around 370,000 children in England, Scotland and Wales – 12 per cent of the total – have gambled in the past week.

The most common forms of gambling that children participate in take place in the physical realm, involving fruit machines, scratch cards or just making wagers with friends. Now, however, a type of online gambling called “skin betting” is also taking off, and a regulatory blind spot means children are able to easily take part.

Skins are cosmetic items found in some video games, which can be traded on third-party websites for cash. Some sites also let players gamble