Family threatened by creditors due to 17-year-old's gambling debts

JOHOR BARU: A 17-year old boy's online gambling activity has caused his family to live in fear following threats from creditors.

Goh Siew Khim, 48, who runs a noodle stall together with her husband said the nightmare started when a group of men who claimed to be "creditors" came to her house in Taman Mutiara Rini in three cars on Jan 24 at night and said that their son owe them RM32,000 in online gambling debts.

Talking to the media in a press conference organised by Johor Baru Guan Lauye cultural association here said she lodged a police report at Skudai police station on the same day.

Goh's youngest son and a school-dropout a month ago was also present for the press conference.

The boy, name withheld said, he started playing the machine games at cyber centres since 14-years-old and won RM40,000.

"I gradually moved on to playing online casino, sometimes gambling up to 10 hours a day. I lost a lot of money and the bidding money I borrowed from friends in the gambling circle," he confessed.

He said he left school a month ago and worked in a restaurant in order to pay back the debts.

The association community head, Rodney Soon, advised teenagers to keep off online gambling activities as they could become addicted, start borrowing and eventually lose a lot of money.

"The "creditors" will then look for their parents to recover the money borrowed," he said.

Malaysia Agape Caring Community Association social worker, Bryant Teo, said, these addicted teenagers need to get help quickly before they land in bigger problems.

He said, the centre had resolved about 60 gambling cases since 2012, and most of the victims were secondary school students and one primary pupil – all went through counselling.