October 23, 2023 3 min read


Australian Youth Stole $2,800 from His Girlfriend to Gamble

The young woman felt betrayed as she had believed that her boyfriend would never steal from her

Australia’s gambling harm woes continue, with a recent case highlighting the seriousness of the problem among young people. As reported by The Guardian, a 22-year-old man stole thousands of dollars from his girlfriend to gamble, jeopardizing their relationship.

The young man’s mother, referred to as Wendy, spoke with the news outlet about how the addition ruined her son’s relationship. On Easter morning the youth’s girlfriend told Wendy that he had taken her phone and accessed her savings account to gamble $2,800 into two bets.

Teary-eyed, the young woman told Wendy felt betrayed as she had believed that her boyfriend would never steal from her. The theft spelled the end of the young man’s relationship. However, the son’s gambling habits also cost his parents tens of thousands of dollars. According to Wendy, she and her husband also had to spend $25,000 to pay off their son’s gambling debts.

At first, the youth’s father tried to stop him from gambling. However, the young man eventually started asking his friends for money or using money-lending apps.

Wendy pointed out that the boy had started gambling before he turned 18, which aligns with the ongoing crisis in Australia.

The Young Man Was Sent to Rehabilitation

Earlier, The Guardian Australia probed into youth gambling, uncovering a 16% increase in the number of young people seeking help. A large number of them are also struggling with debt, deteriorating relationships and depression.

Luckily, Wendy and her husband have enough savings to send their son to live-in rehabilitation. However, the woman pointed out that the $55,000 price tag of the rehabilitation would be too daunting for many other families.

Wendy blamed the government for the nonstop gambling advertising, asking it to “stop shoving it down” kids’ faces.

Australia Might Be Raising a Generation of Problem Gamblers

In the meantime, Australian organizations continue their efforts to understand gambling harm and the effect of ads and take appropriate action. Advertised as an engaging way to make money, gambling appeals to many children across the country who grow up watching gambling ads. Public health experts also pointed out that many ads downplay the risk associated with gambling.

In addition, the size of the gambling industry means that it has the means to influence policy. Amid intense efforts to bring about a change, the industry’s lobbying efforts have so far prevented a revolution in Australia’s gambling laws.

In the meantime, more and more young people, including high school students, pick up gambling. Some believe that the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns prompted this concerning trend.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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