Edit: Thanks, E-phonk!
Originally Posted by E-phonk
Complete dutch article translated:
37.000 euro of parents money wasted with "free" game
More than 37.000 euro. That's the amount a fifteen year old boy from Antwerp wasted in only a few months time without the knowledge of his mother. The National Commission for gambling sounds the alarm: "On the internet everything is allowed - we need more strict laws and policies"
Robin (not his real name) had been playing Game of War - Fire Age for only a few months. This internet game is freely downloadable. Players have to build an army and a city in order to destroy their opponents camp.
"Robin has been playing video games for years, just like his brothers", his mother says. "But he never played for money, we had no reason to be worried."
What his mother didn't know, was Robin got more and more involved in the world of Game of War. He wanted to do everything for it.
"When I was planning to go on vacation, I asked Robin to install some e-books on my tablet, something I don't know how to do myself", says the woman. "To buy these books I have given him the credit card of my father." And Robin added this credit card to his own iTunes account, the download service of Apple. He discovered he could buy virtual gold within the game using a credit card. This virtual gold made him progress to the game significantly faster. "While you are playing tons of advertisements are displayed, there is even an in-game casino that you can play. You only have to click once to make a purchase and real money is being spent, which was exactly what he did again and again, not knowing how much money he was actually spending as nothing shows what the amount is that you already payed."
Boy splurges 37,000 euros playing ‘free’ game
A 15-year-old Flemish boy managed to spend 37,000 euros of his mother’s money playing an online game, according to the daily ‘Het Nieuwsblad’. The strange thing is that no one noticed a thing.
The boy downloaded the game ‘Game of War’ for free, but managed to purchase ‘virtual’ gold without noticing. The virtual currency helped him progress through the game faster, but unfortunately also led to real money being charged to his mother’s bank account. It took a long time before anyone caught on.
The Belgian Gambling Commission is sounding the alarm. “We need stricter rules.”