The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) which is the gambling regulator in the UK has been under pressure to do more to regulate licensed gambling operators. Gambling addiction rates in the country have increased significantly during the last 5 years. The big concern for anti-gambling opponents is that many children in the UK are also battling gambling addiction.
The UKGC along with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the UK government have rolled out a number of new regulations in recent years to provide better protection to minors. Licensed gambling operators were warned not to target minors with their ads and to carry out age verification procedures at land based and online casinos.
A secret shopper study was carried out across multiple industries in the UK recently. Some of the industries that were subjected to a secret shopper included the gambling and betting industry, supermarkets, petrol stations and convenience stores. A shopper would enter different shops in these industries and look to make a purchase.
The goal was to see if the different stories asked them to verify their age or simply let them complete the purchase. Serve Legal analysts said that when these secret shopper tests were first rolled out, the betting industry had an age verification rate of 67 percent. However things have significantly improved since then as retail betting shops now have a 90 percent rate.
The betting industry led the way when it came to these age verification tests as petrol stations had a 76 percent rate, supermarkets had a 77 percent rate and convenience stores had an 83 percent rate. The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) was pleased with these results and praised betting shops for leading the way and setting an example for some of the other industries.
BGC Continues To Push For Compliance
BGC President Michael Dugher said in light of the COVID-19 lockdown and all of the challenges that everyday Brits were facing, it was heartening to see employees in the betting industry doing their job correctly. Dugher is continuing to push for betting and gambling operators to comply with gaming regulations and push the age verification percentage even higher.
Dugher confirmed that iGaming operators were also taking their commitment to underage gambling very seriously and were carrying out age verification and KYC protocols religiously.