12-year-old boy loses £7,000 of dad's money playing online poker
A 12-year-old boy lost £7,000 of his dad's money gambling on poker websites.
What started off as innocent fun, playing games with schoolmates on free downloaded apps, quickly got out of hand for Declan Hind.
The youngster was so hooked on the online games that when he was lent his dad's credit card to buy a birthday gift for his mum, he started gambling for money.
Now Declan wants to warn other schoolchildren of the dangers of online gambling. He will be visiting schools with his rather poorer dad Keith as part of a project launched by the charity Prevention Town.
Declan, now 13, said: "It started off in school. My mate got into the poker games. It was free to download, we were all doing it.
"It was all virtual money but I got really good at it. I was making loads.' But his dad's credit card allowed him to join a real poker website.
"I put all the information in. I started making a bit, but not as much as I was losing," said Declan, from Maghull, Merseyside.
His father realised what was happening only when his credit card stopped working.
"I was really livid, but I was also shocked. It was so easy for him to do it," said Keith, 52.
Declan's dad eventually paid back the money to the credit card company.
It's estimated about 60,000 youngsters have a problem with gambling - twice that of the adult population.
Prevention Town director Ross Carroll told Metro: "It can be devastating, not just for children but for families who have to face the financial consequences. Education is imperative."