The UK gambling commission is calling for the pub industry to take faster action to prevent minors from accessing gaming machines in pubs.
UK.- The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has revealed that a review of pubs in England and Wales has shown that 84% of them fail to prevent minors from playing Category C gaming machines, which are also known as fruit machines.
Over the past year, the UKGC has worked with local authorities and police to test compliance with laws in place to protect children from gambling. It said that local authorities have primary responsibility for regulating the machines and businesses are responsible for ensuring that they are compliant in checking age verification.
The call follows a test sample taken in 2018, where it was found that 88% of pubs in England failed to prevent children from accessing gaming machines. The review suggests that the rules in place are not appropriately enforced and that many employees are unaware of the restrictions.
The programme director says the pub industry must take action
Programme Director Helen Rhodes said: “The pub industry must accelerate action to enforce these rules. Pubs must take age verification on machines as seriously as they do for alcohol sales, and they risk losing their entitlement to offer machines if they do not.
‘’The results last year were extremely disappointing and we have supported local authorities in their action to raise standards. This includes working with the providers of training to the pub industry to emphasise the legal requirements in training materials, as well as with the Home Office to work towards including materials on gambling in pubs in the curriculum for the personal licence holder course. The British Beer and Pub Association and UK Hospitality have responded to our call by issuing guidance to their members on the importance of enforcing the legal requirements. We urge the pub sector to respond to this opportunity to protect children and young people and to prevent the need for local authorities to take enforcement action.”