Gambling-style apps offered on Facebook without age checks

Fears grow over children’s risk of addiction as fixed-odds betting terminal supplier offers ‘social games’ aimed at young people

The company behind thousands of the UK’s fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) is offering gambling-style apps on Facebook without age checks, prompting allegations that children are being exposed to the risk of addiction.

Earlier this month, the industry watchdog warned that more than 60,000 children were either gambling addicts or were in danger of becoming hooked. Experts have warned that games mimicking real-life gambling are the “number one risk factor” for developing a problem later in life.

Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, who has launched a party review of gambling policy, said: “It is deeply worrying that games designed to get children in the habit of gambling are being marketed and played online. The company that makes these products is cynically targeting young people, some of whom are at risk of developing gambling addictions later in life.”

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