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UK: Underage gambling controls must improve

9 December 2013

LONDON, England -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Independent high street gambling businesses are being told to improve their underage gambling controls after the Commission’s recent test purchase exercise with local authorities and the police across England and Wales identified some major weaknesses.

Owners of some gambling businesses have been warned to do more to keep young people out of their adult-only premises. The national programme of tests showed a worrying number of betting shops and adult gaming centres failing to keep young people out of their premises or preventing them from using a gaming machine.

Matthew Hill, the Commission’s Director, Regulatory Risk and Analysis said, “These results are unacceptable. The test purchasing programme with local authorities and the police will continue, and operators will be putting their licences and livelihoods at risk if they fail to improve”.

In 29 out of 54 tests of betting and adult gaming centre premises, a supervised test purchaser under the age of 18 was allowed to play on a gaming machine and leave the premises without being challenged to prove their age. However results from a small sample of bingo and casino premises demonstrated stronger controls in preventing young persons from entering the premises.

 
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