UK: Online poker hooks teenagers

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies, Media, That's Entertainment

The Guardian is currently featuring a report of online poker games, and their part in underage gambling.  The article says while gambling is illegal to those under-18, at least one player, "Steve," has found "the age verification systems of his chosen websites 'very, very easy' to fool."

Steve, who is just seventeen, has so fallen in love with online poker that he intends to delay university for a year, and play "full-time" for "five or six hours a day."  That article continues by saying that Steve is showing signs of gambling addiction:  "He says he thinks about poker 'pretty much all the time', gets 'a real buzz' from a good hand of cards, and admits the game distracts him from his college work and social life."

According to the report, the number of high school and college students calling gambling helplines in the US has doubled in the past two years.  Ed Looney, who is the director of one such helpline, blames online poker games:  "I have been in this field for 30 years and I've never seen anything as crazy as this...It's much like when crack cocaine came out in America in the Eighties. Internet gambling is something right now that you almost can't stop."

Man.  And you thought the only thing you had to worry about were online predators.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.