Gambling Commission updates strategy to protect children from gambling
The UK Gambling Commission has updated its strategy towards protecting children from the potential harmful effects of gambling with a publication issued on Tuesday.
The Commission had been taking advice from the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB) on the issue, which is one of the most critical in the industry currently.
The strategy introduces a number of new focus areas. These will include more stringent age verification tests, a possible increase of the minimum participation age for playing the National Lottery and more coordinated action with stakeholders, such as government, operators and relevant local authorities.
The Commission has asked that all those responsible for safeguarding children should work along with the Commission in the area. It claims that much work is to be done in the areas of the exposure of gambling to young people, the risks of online gambling, preventative education and training to the demographic, and the further collection of evidence and engagement with consumers.
Tim Miller, executive director at the Commission, said:
Safeguarding children in a digital age is complex, and what both RGSB and our research has highlighted is that it takes a multi-faceted approach by us, government, educators, gambling firms and parents. It will take firm ongoing commitments from the Commission as gambling regulator, but also from all of those with a part to play.– Tim Miller, Gambling Commission executive director
Miller added that the advice from the RGSB has helped to reinforce and refocus the initiatives already underway by the Commission in the area.
Young people and gambling remains a key focus area for the Commission, with pressure also being applied by government and the media for more action.
Just recently, a teenager lost £80,000 gambling online, due to the ease with which he was able to assume his father’s identity at online gambling sites.
Stories like those have led to increasing pressure on the Commission, but progress has been slow.
The RGSB released its second annual progress report into the Commission’s national strategy last month, with the report concluding almost all areas were progressing slower than anticipated.
The new paper represents the Commission’s initial response to the RGSB’s expert advice. The Commission has stated that more work is needed to develop the plans and to coordinate them with local and regional partners. However, with these new focus areas and strategical directions publicly announced, the Commission will be expected to make big improvements in this area sooner rather than later.
You can read the plans in full at the Gambling Commission’s website.