UKGC reviews on-course age verification in new crackdown

Seven on-course bookmakers are having their gambling licences reviewed by the UK Gambling Commission after it was found they had allowed a 16-year old to place a bet at this year’s Royal Ascot.

Following numerous age verification checks carried out between the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, supported by the Gambling Commission and Trading Standards, seven of the 17 tested operators allowed a minor to place a £5 bet. 

Richard Watson, Commission Executive Director, commented on the news: “These licence reviews show how strongly we feel about underage gambling.

“Every single gambling business must protect children from gambling but the on course bookmakers results have remained unacceptable.”

The news places further pressure on the on-course sector to ensure that it is thoroughly carrying out age verification checks. 

Watson added: “Despite various educational attempts to raise standards, by ourselves and the trade bodies, the on-course sector has historically performed poorly in both underage gambling test purchase exercises and Think 21 testing.

“Pass rates have failed to meet the standards expected and the sector has consistently performed to levels below those we see in other gambling and age restricted products.  By way of example, over the past four years, the on-course sector has a pass rate of around 35% for Think 21 testing.

“We welcome the positive initiated by the local authority and the racecourse to raise standards in the gambling industry.”

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