DOMINIC LAWSON: Gambling harmless fun? Tell that to the family of the addict boy, age 13, who lost £80,000 after seeing betting ads at a Wembley football match

The Football World Cup kicks off next week and there is only one guaranteed winner. agen sbobet I don’t mean which national team will carry off the trophy: that is anyone’s guess.

No, the outcome of which we can be certain is that the betting companies will clean up. Not so much in taking far more money than they will pay out, but because this month-long festival of football is a golden opportunity for them to target and hook the nation’s youth via a bombardment of television advertising.

You only have to watch any of the commercial TV channels when sport is being broadcast to be stunned by their saturation with ads from the various gambling companies.

You only have to watch any of the commercial TV channels when sport is being broadcast to be stunned by their saturation with ads from the various gambling companies

There is a loophole actually, agen sbobet a gaping void in the law that bans gambling ads before the so-called watershed at 9pm: an exception is made for live sporting events.

Is it seriously to be believed that children are miraculously immune to temptation from such ads if they are being broadcast during a live event?

Of course not: this is just a cynical arrangement with the gambling firms bankrolling the channels broadcasting such events — and with the TV companies themselves.

Hooked

In sports-obsessed Australia, where legislators have become fully alert to the growing extent that gambling addiction has gripped their youth, the law has been changed to stop gambling ads during live broadcasts before the watershed. No such good sense has yet emerged from the Westminster Parliament.

It should, however,  agen sbobet be galvanised by a report in a Sunday newspaper yesterday, recounting how a 13-year-old Lancashire boy went on an £80,000 criminal spree to fund a gambling addiction.

This child un-named, to protect his identity told the paper he had become hooked by seeing the gambling ads while attending a football match at Wembley. By the way, you can see these ads even on the BBC’s Match of the Day: they skitter non-stop across the electronic boards that ring football stadiums.

Anyway, this lad was immediately entranced: ‘I figured I’d give it a go. It seemed fun and easy.’

Well, yes, agen sbobet that’s exactly the impression given by these ads, showing young adults at football games placing bets while at the match, then becoming ecstatically happy when their punt inevitably comes off.

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