Thursday 17 November 2022

Underage gambling: a shaggy dog story?

From BBC Wales... 
Gambling: Boy, 16, lost thousands after seeing advert

A 16-year-old boy lost thousands of pounds gambling in just a few weeks after seeing adverts at a football game, a support worker has said.

Nick Phillips, from Swansea, said the boy opened an account in his father's name an hour after a match.

Really? If he opened the account in his father's name, he must have used his father's debit card. How was he expecting to withdraw his winnings? Why didn't his father notice thousands of pounds coming out of his account?

As Matthew Rushton says, it seems more likely that his dad has a gambling problem and blamed it on his son to get a refund.
As for being triggered by seeing a gambling advertisement at a football match (more likely a gambling logo), had he never seen a gambling advert before? According to anti-gambling campaigners, people see a dozen gambling ads before breakfast. What was it about this advert that made it such a conveniently specific cause of his woes?
I'd like to know a lot more about this story, but all we get from the Beeb is the first two sentences slightly rearranged...

Mr Phillips helps those struggling with gambling in Swansea, said the boy's family have stopped going to football matches because they want to avoid putting their son at risk.

He said: "This poor lad has gone home an hour after the match and opened an account in his dad's name after seeing the gambling ad."

Strangely, there is no quote from the teenager or his father in this story. There is no indication that the journalist has spoken to either of them. There are no names and nobody to corroborate the story. The only source is Nick Phillips who does a bit more than 'help those struggling with gambling in Swansea'. He actively campaigns against gambling advertising in football and is a programme lead for The Big Step, an anti-gambling group that spun off from Gambling With Lives.   
Nothing wrong with that. Phillips is himself a former problem gambler. But what happened to the two-source rule of journalism? The BBC has reported this fishy tale on the basis of what is essentially hearsay.

The rest of the article is just a soapboax for anti-gambling campaigners like Carolyn Harris...

Carolyn Harris, MP for Swansea East, said legislation needed updating to keep up with technology.

She said: "If you think about the last Gambling Act in 2005, the first iPhone was invented in 2007, who could have foreseen how technology would come along in the way that it has."

Hard to imagine but in back in those days, if you wanted to place a bet online you had to go to the trouble of using a computer! And what does it have to do with advertising anyway?

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