The Gambling Commission has recently stated that stronger partnerships are needed to protect children following a new report it published on 21 November 2018. This shows that gambling participation by 11 to 16-year olds increased in the last 12 months but remains lower than in all previously reported years.
The paper did express concern that more children are at risk of being harmed by gambling. However, the most common forms of gambling that young people are engaging in are outside the regulatory control of the Commission; namely wagering amongst friends, playing lottery scratch cards purchased by parents and the playing fruit machines in pubs.
The key findings were:
Tim Miller, Executive Director of the Gambling Commission said, ‘Protecting children from harms that can come from gambling remains one of our highest priorities. In the areas we have regulatory control, we continue to strengthen the protections in place to prevent underage gambling, such as our recent proposals for enhanced age verification checks for online gambling. But regulation alone cannot address all the risks that young people may face […]. Our latest research shows that the most common forms of gambling by children do not happen in gambling premises. Some of these are legal […] some of these are unlawful […]. But all of them present risks to young people […]. It is therefore vital that all those with a part to play in protecting children and young people – parents, businesses and regulators – work together.’
Whilst the Commission’s call for greater efforts from all areas of society to work harder to limit the risks of gambling to young people is to be applauded, it remains to be seen whether any societal measures will have the desired effect. For many young people further restrictions may simply increase the excitement associated with breaking the rules, whether set by their parents or through regulation.
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This article is for reference purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking or deciding not to take any action.
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