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“Gambling addict” children treated at first NHS clinic for children Published Date: 28/10/2020

It has been reported that gamers as young as 16 are being treated for online betting addiction at the first NHS child gambling clinic after losing up to £100,000.

Reports and investigation by Sunday People and the Sunday Times reports that betting companies could be banned from being front-of-shirt sponsors for football clubs under reforms being considered by the Government.

The investigation, as reported, has revealed that:

  • At least 55,000 aged between 11 and 16 children – mainly boys – have a ­serious gambling problem.
  • Children a young as eight start their addiction with video games like Fortnite that offer rewards.
  • A teenager who got hooked at 13 plunged his father’s business into bankruptcy after stealing £60,000 to fuel a six-year online betting spree.
  • A 12-year-old used his dad’s business card to set up an account and blew £20,000 in one night’s online roulette.

It is reported that the Betting and Gaming Council said: “It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to bet or game with any of our members and we have strict age verification and ID measures in place to stop this.

“However, none of these restrictions apply in the illegal online black market, where children can gamble without any checks on their age. This is one of the reasons why we are calling for tougher action on the black market.”

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport said: “We are absolutely committed to protecting young people from the risks of gambling-related harm and have been clear that we will review the Gambling Act to ensure it is fit for the digital age.


“We have taken tough new measures over the past 18 months including ­introducing tighter age and identification checks for online gambling and banning gambling using credit cards.

“We are also expanding national specialist support for young people through the NHS Long Term Plan.”

Source: Mirror