The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) says pubs in Wales and England must adopt a more stringent policy when it comes to granting underage individuals access to gambling on their fruit machines.
These simplistic slot machines are very popular in pubs throughout the country since they are easy to play and usually have low stakes.
Reports show that 84 percent of bars surveyed are failing to stop underage players from betting on them.
These slot machines can only be legally played by individuals who are 18 years and above. It is the job of the pub staff to prevent underage players from using these machines.
They are also supposed to have clear signs over these machines displaying minimum age requirements. However, these requirements have largely been ignored and now the gambling regulator has been forced to take the matter up.
The UKGC has been working hard to curb underage gambling and has coordinated with local authorities to ensure that all pubs follow these rules. Helen Rhodes, program director of the UKGC said that pubs have to take age verification more seriously and adopt a similar stance as they do when it comes to selling alcohol to underage individuals. Failure to comply with these regulations will likely result in pubs losing their fruit machines.
The UKGC has provided additional training to staff working in pubs while also releasing additional material that pub license seekers must familiarize themselves with.
Pubs Promise To Cooperate With UKGC
Representatives of the various pub associations in the country have thrown their support behind the UKGC’s call to prevent underage gambling at pubs in the country. The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) and the British Hospitality Association are teaming up to create an initiative that will help deal with underage gambling that takes place in bars.
An updated version of the Social Responsibility Charter for Gaming Machines in Pubs has been published that takes underage gambling into account and this will be a big help in pubs looking to comply with UKGC compliance standards.
Brigid Simmons, the chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association has also called on pub owners to follow these instructions or face the consequences of having the machines removed and dealing with further legal proceedings. Besides the charter, the trade bodies are planning to work closely with the UKGC and the GambleAware charity to handle underage gambling concerns.