When Children Were Given Casino Games for Christmas

Features Entertainment
Alan Evans

Updated by Alan Evans

News Writer

Last Updated 13th Jun 2024, 02:56 PM

When Children Were Given Casino Games for Christmas

During the 1960s, and through the 1970s, there were also gambling games that involved fun money and even casino chips, dice, playing cards, and one-arm bandits.  

It was not unusual to coin a phrase from the Las Vegas legend Sir Tom Jones, for children to be presented with a game of roulette, blackjack, or Texas Hold'em back in the day.   

I remember getting a casino game in the late 1970s and marvelling at the noise the ball made as it jumped from compartment to compartment. I never read the rules or really played the game, I just spun the ball. When I lost the ball, I substituted it with one of my marbles, but it was not the same. 

The images on the boxes conjured up a glamourous casino scene of Las Vegas or Monte Carlo, wherever that was. 

The ladies looked glamourous and sultry, not a bit like my mum who seemed to be perpetually working and only put on a dress for special occasions.The men most certainly did not resemble one’s father. They wore dinner jackets or tuxedos. They were well groomed and they smoked cigars. Mine was usually in oily overalls and wearing a cap. 

Playing Cards Kept in Top Drawers 

Playing cards were something that appeared each Christmas with a warning to us boys ‘not to take it too seriously’ and ‘not to argue’ or ‘play for money’.

Unfortunately, we did, and the cards were almost always confiscated and hidden in a top drawer where we would extract them from when our parents were out. 

Elderly members of the family would say they were the Devil’s playthings and frown upon their use.  

Monopoly was and still is a game given to children with thousands of pounds in fake cash being used to try and beat the competition into bankruptcy. There was something satisfying with having so much cash even if it was fake. 

I also have memories of standing knee high to my auntie and watching her yank down that enormous handle on the one arm bandits to win. 

In those days it would not have been more than a few pounds jackpot. She seemed to stay there an eternity but when the coins dropped, she beamed down at me, and I knew I was in for a treat of some sort. 

Would You Give a Slot Machine to a Child? 

Incredibly I received a toy slot machine one Christmas with the purpose of helping me save money. It might as well have been the keys to the local bank as whatever I put in, I managed to open the back and extract. 

Games of bingo were also played for fun complete with plastic playing boards and pop-o-matic bingo caller. 

Parental Controls Still Important 

Parental controls still play their part and for some the thought of their children playing gambling games, online slots are still too much to bear. 

Thankfully there is now the process of age verification, which ensures that only eligible people over the legal age participate in online gambling. 

The process uses personal data and documents to verify a person's identity before they can play online casinos or games. Age verification is fundamental for the prevention of underage gambling.  

Self-Exclusion for Adults 

Self-exclusion is a tool used by those who have recognised that their gambling is harmful to them. It is for those who wish to be supported to stop gambling. 

You can take active steps to remove yourself from gambling whether online or in a premises. You enter into a formal agreement not to gamble, and it is up to you to stick to your self-exclusion. If you try to gamble during that time, the gambling business must take reasonable steps to stop you. 

You can choose to self-exclude via a multi-operator self-exclusion scheme. These schemes allow you to make a single request to self-exclude from the same type of land-based gambling within your area. GAMSTOP allows you to self-exclude from online operators with one request. 

Gambling businesses are required to have their own self-exclusion arrangements in place. You may wish to exclude from one business only. 

Finally, there is BetBlocker. It only takes 2 minutes to install. Once you have installed the app, you'll have over 83,000 gambling websites blocked. 

Meet The Author

Alan Evans
Alan Evans
News Writer News Writer

Most of my career was spent in teaching including at one of the UK’s top private schools. I left London in 2000 and set up home in Wales raising four beautiful children. I enrolled at University where I studied Photography and film and gained a Degree and subsequently a Masters Degree. In 2014 I helped launch a new local newspaper and managed to get front and back page as well as 6 filler pages on a weekly basis. I saw that journalism was changing and was a pioneer of hyperlocal news in Wales. In 2017 I started one of the first 24/7 free independent news sites for Wales. Having taken that to a successful business model I was keen for a new challenge. Joining the company is exciting for me especially as it is a new role in Europe. I am keen to establish myself and help others to do the same.

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