UKGC blocks criminal activities

Credits: Sam Pearce
Credits: Sam Pearce

Criminal behavior related to gaming industry is being debunked by a governmental joint venture.

UK.- The UK Gambling Commission has set an agreement with Birmingham’s police department, the City Council and bookmakers in order to block criminal activities related to gaming industry. The police operation was based on several complaints that suggested a local bookmaker was also in charge of drug-dealing and anti-social activities, according to Intergame Online.

After the latest crackdown, the governmental joint venture named Betwatch has ended with five residents banned from 24 local betting shops. The Birmingham City Council and West Midlands Police had worked on the previous complaints.

Helen Venn, programme director for compliance at the Gambling Commission said: “This is a really positive result for Betwatch, which has been rolled out across central Birmingham for 18 months now. We want the community, whether they are customers at a local bookie or not, to feel safe and that they are protected. This stands for betting shop employees too.”

“The reality is anti-social behaviour and the crime associated with betting shops can only be tackled if gambling businesses, police, local authorities and the Gambling Commission work together. Betwatch achieves this, allowing each partner to address issues with the tools they have available to them and in circumstances such as this, refuse service to those that pose a risk to the public,” she added.

Sharon Horner, West Midlands Police’s designing-out crime officer, added: “Betwatch illustrates the calming effect of people working together to reach a mutually desired outcome of reducing crime and anti-social behaviour in the community and enhancing the betting experience.”

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