Using his parent’s card seemed great at the time.
Using his parent’s card seemed great at the time.

13-year-old loses $106k gambling

A 13-YEAR-old boy with a gambling addiction managed to blow $A106,000 on betting websites after stealing his dad's credit card.

The teenager, from Lancashire, got hooked after seeing adverts for online bookmakers while watching a football match at Wembley, reports The Sun.

He used his mobile phone to take pictures of his company director dad's business credit cards and set up a betting account in his parent's identity.

The youngster, who has not been identified, began placing hundreds of bets a week on football matches and horses - and some stakes were as much as $A5300 a time.

He told the Sunday Mirror: "I had no idea that ­gambling could be an addiction like smoking, drinking or drugs. It seemed like fun and I thought I would make money too.

"It was just far too easy. I just had to put in dad's name, ­address, date of birth and card details and checked a box saying I was 18 - it took literally seconds to register and start gambling."

The debts went unnoticed at first as his dad's groundworks firm turns over $52840 a month but a call from the bank six months later uncovered the fraud.

When confronted by his parents the boy immediately confessed to the deceit, which by this point stood at more than $A35,000.

He was sent for psychotherapy and they assumed he had learned his lesson.

But several months later he went on a week-long gambling binge and ran up debts of a further $106,000.

His parents have said they will never be able to trust him again and they've been forced to take out loans to pay off the debts.

Their son, now 15, said: "I am sorry for what I have done. I feel like I've ruined everything and our lives will never be the same again."

The family decided to share their experience to warn others about the dangers of online gambling - no matter what age they are.

It comes as new Government figures reveal 25,000 children aged 11-16 are addicted to gambling, while MPs are calling for tighter advertising regulations to prevent child gambling.

The number of 16-year-olds addicted to betting has risen by a third in the last three years, according to Government regulator the Gambling Commission.

This story first appeared on The Sun.

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