UKGC Unveils Further Plans to Protect Children from Gambling

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) released a four-point program intended to address the UK’s childhood gambling epidemic recently exposed in a report.

This week, the UK Gambling Commission published an extensive plan to further protect children from becoming exposed to the dangers of gambling. These plans offer a more pointed strategy to help build upon protections, already in place, that hope to reduce the risk of harm children and young people are exposed to from gambling.

The new plan is part of the UKGC’s response to advice provided by the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB), which is tasked with researching and advising the UKGC on effective strategies for dealing with gambling issues, in this case the nearly 25,000 children in the UK who are problem gamblers and the 36,000 at children at risk of developing an addiction.

Twitter post from UK Gambling Commission that announces their new commitments to combating childhood gambling.

Twitter post from UKGC announcing their new commitments. ©Twitter

The UKGC document mentions four actions that need to be addressed: access and exposure to gambling by children and young people, digital and online risks, preventative education and treatment, evidence collection and consumer engagement. Read the entire UKGC Document for a comprehensive look at these focus areas, as well as the commission’s strategies for addressing them.

The UKGC knows that many areas of concern will require further research, as well as complex long-term solutions. In a statement addressing the new announcement, the chief executive of the Gambling Commission, Tim Miller, stated that action is needed from all of those with a part to play including “parents and other adults with responsibility” for children (teachers, gambling firms, government). Over the next year, the UKGC hopes to start addressing the matter by carrying out “targeted compliance and enforcement activity to identify and tackle any weaknesses in the age verification processes.”

One proposal is to require all customers to be age verified before they can deposit any money to gamble. Current requirements give operators a window of 72 hours to verify the ages of their users. This is more than enough time for an underaged user to deposit and gamble money. The Gambling Commission feels that new and quicker verification technology has made the 72-hour window no longer necessary.

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