BOYS GAMBLING RUINS FAMILY

A 16-year-old boy from Granada has ruined his family by running up a €48,000 debt on his parents’ credit cards playing at a virtual casino on the internet. A spokesman for the Spanish Federation of Rehabilitated Gamblers, FEJAR, said such incidents are common because the virtual casinos cannot see or check the age of the players. He said it was getting so common as to be ruining some people’s lives forever. He said the latest figures showed that the amount gambled on the internet in Spain is up five-fold since 1997, and could reach €5 billion. He said FEJAR estimates that some five percent of the Spanish population could have a problem with gambling. The spokesman also warned about the amounts now being spent by some children on their mobile phones, especially if they have access to the Internet, with bills of €300 or €400 a month not uncommon. He said some children already suffering from deformed hands from sending so many text messages.

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