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Commission raises “serious” concerns by failures to stop children play on 18+ pub gaming machines

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Commission raises “serious” concerns by failures to stop children play on 18+ pub gaming machines 14th November 2018

The Commission has reported that tests purchases on a sample of pubs in England indicate that almost 90% failed to prevent children accessing 18+ gaming machines.

The Gambling Commission has worked with licensing authorities and local police to test compliance with the law that is in place to protect children from the risks gambling can pose.

Children are not permitted to play Category C gaming machines in pubs. Staff are expected to stop children playing on the machines and there should be clear signage indicating the age restriction.

Richard Watson, Executive Director for Enforcement at the Gambling Commission said: “We are extremely concerned that pubs across England are failing to stop children playing gaming machines designed for adults. We urgently call the pubs industry to take action immediately to enforce the rules in place to protect children and young people.”

“We expect to see significant improvement in further tests and will continue to work with licensing authorities to support any action required against those failing to adhere to the requirements.”

The current failure rate (89%) compares to an average failure rate of 15% for other age restricted products such as alcohol or tobacco.

In a letter to the industry, the Commission said that it, the Local Government Association and the Welsh Local Government Association were “very concerned about the findings and the clear risks that they indicate to children and young people’s access to gambling.”  It confirmed that further tests will be undertaken over the coming months.

The Commission urged the trade to and their trade associations to take the results as a “serious indication of the need to improve matters” and it expects that the action taken will be reflected in significant improvements in future test results.

Source: Gambling Commission

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