Broadcast on October 5th, a new CNBC original documentary entitled ‘Generation Gamble’ examines how online apps for sports betting, stock trading and crypto currencies have experienced a surge in popularity and profits, and how this is affecting an entire generation of younger smartphone users. Presented by Melissa Lee, this documentary explores a new era where the boundaries between gaming, betting and investing are blurred, and younger consumers are being targeted. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, online activity has increased dramatically, leading ‘Gen Z’ to re-evaluate how it makes and uses money. Lee profiles college-aged users, illustrating the ease of online betting and investing apps. She also speaks with a Washington State University professor who warns these apps can have unseen dangers and come with excessive risks. Lee also travels to Boston to interview co-founders of DraftKings at their headquarters and discusses the rapidly growing popularity of top-rated sports betting apps as sports betting becomes legalised around the country. The documentary looks at other industries getting in on the action and what DraftKings is doing to promote responsible gambling among its users.
‘Generation Gamble’ also examines social media and its influencers that are changing the world of traditional investing by glamorising trading for a new generation and fuelling the rise of crypto currencies. The documentary emphasises potential downsides of this type of betting and investing behaviour, through people dealing with betting addictions and the experts trying to treat them. With an estimated four million Americans suffering from compulsive gambling disorder, CNBC shows first-hand the dangers behind constant access. Lee’s reporting also takes her to the virtual world of this new generation of digital natives. She explores multiple metaverses and interviews the former CEO of Atari, who now heads an independent licensee of Atari, and visits one of these virtual realms where there is an Atari branded casino and cryptocurrency called the Atari Token. With instant gratification and real-time adjustments, some companies and players are betting the metaverse is the next step in the evolution of gaming. This new documentary provides an in-depth examination of the intersection of betting, trading and gaming, exploring what is at stake for everyone involved and how taking risks can be as easy as a tap on an app.