A chain of cheapo supermarkets in the UK, known as Poundstretcher, has been forced to pull a toy gambling kit designed for children from shop shelves after gambling support group GamCare labelled it “irresponsible”.
In a report by Deadline, the discount retailer was apparently selling the Telitoy Gambling Device for 99p, but GamCare urged parents not to buy the toy, which features fake 500 Euro notes.
A spokeswoman for Poundstretcher said: “We always listen to our customers, appreciate their feedback and aim to stock the great value products they want. In this instance we have removed the product from sale.”
A spokesman for GamCare said its reasons for doing so were down to “many callers report starting gambling when young”. He added: “We hope parents will exercise judgement regarding this product and young children. It’s important that parents and children are aware of the risks associated with gambling.”
Is this child-safety gone mad? GamCare likes to say that 60,000 12-15 year olds might already be problem gamblers. How many 12-year-olds have you seen looking glum down your local casino? Too many.
What kind of world are we living in when a harmless toy is thought to induce problem gambling in kids? It’s universally accepted for shop shelves to be stocked with the likes of beauty products and make-up kits for little girls – Poundstretcher has never been asked to stop selling Barbie dolls because they may influence slutty behaviour in 6-year olds. How’s this any different?
Chief Executive of Gamcare, Andy McLellan, said knowledge about gambling would “help children”. Surely denying them of such a toy and the prospect of gambling is only going against this very concept? He said: “The answer to this must lie in better education – for teenagers, parents and teachers.” Then why try and hide the existence of gambling from them?