Gambling menace to young sailors - Saturday 12th of March 2005

SAILORS at one of the Royal Navy's biggest training bases are ploughing ?120,000 a year into gambling machines. And vulnerable young recruits, many under 18 ,are being exposed to the dangers of addiction and money problems, an education watchdog has warned.
 

The machines at HMS Collingwood in Fareham make ?1,300 profit a week for the base, according to the Adult Learning Inspectorate.
There are similarly unsupervised machines at HMS Sultan in Gosport and at the Royal Marines School of Music in Portsmouth.
 

Now the inspectorate is urging defence chiefs to ban the machines at training establishments used by the youngest recruits.

Although the machines, often in laundry areas, are marked as out of bounds to under-18s, their use is not monitored.
 

Much of the proceeds is spent on improving leisure facilities for recruits and other trainees. But the inspectorate says there has been no research into whether they are leading to debt among young sailors.

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