Online Casino Reviews
Thursday, 25 August 2016
Home / Casino News / UK Reacts Swiftly to NCH Underage Gambling Survey

UK Reacts Swiftly to NCH Underage Gambling Survey – Aug 18th, 2004

Casino NewsThe UK Telegraph reported a fast and decisive response from the British Government to last week’s furore on underage gambling revealed in a survey by the NCH and Gamcare.

Gambling site operators will be hit by unlimited fines and the removal of their licenses if they allow children to gamble online, the Government warned.

Tessa Jowell, the Culture Secretary, said that the new Gambling Commission, to be unveiled in the Queen’s Speech this autumn, will conduct spot checks on gambling websites to crack down on the growing problem of under-age betting.

Bookmakers will be expected to conduct rigorous age verification checks or face fines of many tens of thousands of pounds. Ms Jowell said that she had been alarmed last week to discover that, despite warnings, nearly all bookmakers were allowing children, some as young as 11, to place bets. She said that there was no excuse for the lapse because the technology existed to prevent it.

Bookmakers have been warned to use age verification software instead of allowing customers to register using a Solo, or debit, card, which some banks offer to children from the age of 11. Secretary Jowell told The Telegraph: “I am very alarmed by this because two years ago we wrote to bookmakers warning them of the risks to children of accepting Solo cards for online betting. None of the bookmakers, except Ladbrokes, has acted on the warning. This is completely unacceptable. I am determined to see proper protection for children from the risks that all these sites present. The bookmakers need to do more, so do the banks.”

The Gambling Bill will give the new commission the power to conduct spot checks on websites to establish whether they admit children. Ms Jowell said: “What is clear is that many of our gambling laws date back to the 18th century and are completely incompetent to deal with innovations in internet gambling. We will make it a statutory responsibility of licence holders that they act in a way that is socially responsible.

“Those who do not will face criminal penalties. The commission will have a range of sanctions – it will be able to levy unlimited fines and remove licenses. If bookmakers will not respect children they will operate in awe of the Gambling Commission.”

An investigation by NCH, the children’s charity, found that children as young as 11 were able to set up gambling accounts. Many of the biggest companies, among them William Hill and Coral, were caught allowing children to bet.

Only Ladbrokes and the National Lottery website conducted the proper age verification checks. Such checks are time-consuming and expensive and can lose firms a large amount of business. Checks require users to enter their name, age and address and that information is then checked against databases including the electoral register and the DVLA. If the information given does not tally, access is refused.

Tagged with: