A 13-year-old boy stole his father’s credit card and blew more than $140,000 in online gambling.

He admits “it was far too easy” to get away with.

The teenager, from Lancashire in England, said he saw an advertisement for a betting site while watching a soccer game at London’s Wembley Stadium, prompting him to create an account under his parent’s identity.

After taking a few snapshots of his father’s credit card, he began placing hundreds of bets a week on soccer matches and horse races – with some stakes more than $5000, according to News Corp.

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It was not until his parents received a call from the bank six months later that they learned of his deceit.  (“Six months?! Why would the bank not make contact earlier?”, MoM)

“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,” he told The Mirror.

“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.”

Two years later his parents are still paying off his debts, even taking out loans to do so.

They said they will never be able to trust him again but are sharing his story to warn others of the dangers of online gambling.

Online gambling is definitely promoted far too much during kids games and TV viewing times. I often find myself discussing with the children that it is NOT an easy money option and to be careful of falling into the trap.

Do you discuss gambling with your children?

Share your comments below


  • It’s too easy to get away with things on-line nowadays. Can’t believe they didn’t notice the amount owing on their card and why did it take the bank so long to get in touch with them.


  • Wow, there should be much better security in place to stop things like this, those poor parents!


  • Ooh, I’ve recently renewed gambling discussions with my 17 year old son. It came about from the bombardment of ads during our footy viewing and opened about a chat about his mate who gambles (albeit innocently, apprently, until it’s not!). It’s obviously an ongoing discussion but I was able to share the ugly side of gambling that has taken place in our family to try and teach him about the many pitfalls and chasing the high and the gambler rarely being the winner.


  • I work for a financial institution and one of my customers cancelled his credit card because he gave the number to his teenage son to buy something, only problem is, that something spiraled out of control-yep, gambling as well!


  • Wow don’t these people have a credit limit!!?? Surely the credit company would say something sooner… don’t they get statements monthly?


  • I don’t understand how it went on for 6 months before they found out about it — did the kid’s father not get the credit card statements?!?


  • That’s so sad. I can’t even imagine one teenager doing such a thing. Making a copy of the credit card and using it like that. Don’t the parents check the monthly statements??? They could have picked up this problem quite earlier.
    I would be quite disappointed with my child.

    • I know – this baffles me too. Six months to notice and statements should always be read. Hope this young person gets help to change his ways as gambling and lying are both hazardous for so many reasons. Hope their family manages to mend.

      • I expect it to be a long journey. :-(
        We should all be checking our monthly statements. I think you have 30 days to notify the bank if there are any disparities. I can’t even imagine people not doing that. It is maybe a boring but necessary task. And in this case it would have saved a lot of money, because they would have been able to stop the child from the beginning.

      • I agree – it is basic financial management of accounts. Very sad for them. :(


  • Oh wow, I don’t see the point in gambling money away. It’s a waste and could be spent on better things


  • Oh my goodness ! I showed this article to my kids and they didn’t even know what gambling is !
    Gambling is a serious problem. Hope the boy gets help.


  • How on earth does a credit card have that sort of limit – is there more to this story?


  • Most credit cards have a limit and purchases over that amount are stopped …. why didn’t the bank notify them earlier? … how did the boy get access to the credit card? … too may unanswered questions here …..

    • Yep do have to agree with you on this one.


  • I’m baffled by the fact it took the parents six months to realise. Don’t they read their credit card statements? Why didn’t the bank call earlier?


  • Oh my gosh. What sort of fitting punishment could you possibly give for this? Make him pay it off. Lol. And the bank took long enough to respond


  • How could the debt possibly get so much? Most people wouldn’t have access to that much on credit cards with some rigid checks by the banks or lenders.


  • geez that is a lot of lawns to mow to pay it back


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