Tuesday June 5, 2012 :  LIVERPOOL SCHOOL BOY BLEW GBP 7,000 ON INTERNET POKER
 
A reminder on the importance of maintaining a high level of operator vigilance
 
The Liverpool News reports this week on an under aged gambler who blew GBP 7,000 of his father’s money on internet poker sites, underlining how important it is for operators to maintain a high level of vigilance against the industry threat of minors gambling.
 
12-year-old Declan Hind’s online misadventures are being used as part of a campaign to warn other children of the risks of gambling online.
 
Hind says that he was first exposed to online poker at school, when a friend showed him how to download play-for-free games to his smartphone. He and others would play against each other using virtual currencies, but success went to Hind’s head and he decided that he could make easy money by getting into the real thing.
 
Borrowing his father’s credit card to make an unrelated internet purchase, Hind went into unidentified online poker sites and fraudulently registered.
 
In just over a week he ploughed GBP 7,000 of his father’s money into internet poker games, spending more and more as he tried to cover up his losses and mistakes.
 
His 52-year-old father only realised what was happening when his credit card was declined as maxed out. His son said nothing, and, afraid of the consequences, purged his computer of all internet poker sites.
 
“I was screaming and shouting at the credit card company, I didn’t know what happened,” his father told the newspaper.
 
Then the truth emerged, prompting Hind’s dad to publicise the case as an object lesson for anti-gambling bodies to use.
 
Prevention Town, a national charity which aims to use education to prevent accident and injuries in children, is piloting a scheme in Liverpool to help underage gamblers, which Declan and his dad will play a part in.
 
The charity will go into schools across Merseyside and use focus groups, workshops and videos to teach children of the risks of gambling.