UK betting shops leading the way for age verification checks

By Peter Lynch

UK betting shops have better age verification checks than convenience stores, supermarkets and petrol forecourts, according to data released by independent analysts Serve Legal.

Serve Legal carried out spot checks to test whether or not secret shoppers are asked to show if they are 18 or over at any point during their visit, with the shop scoring a pass if a customer is asked to prove their age.

A total of 90% of betting shops have passed in 2021 so far, compared to 83% of convenience stores, 77% of supermarkets, and 76% of petrol forecourts.

Moreover, when the tests were first introduced, a total of 67% of betting shops passed, “a sign of the huge progress they have made in recent years,” a statement from the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) read.

“Regulated BGC members have a zero tolerance approach to under-18s betting and I am delighted to see that the age verification systems in place in betting shops are robust,” said BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher.

“By any measure, age verification standards have improved since they were first introduced and once again betting shops are leading the retail sector in terms of compliance.

“I want to pay tribute to betting shop staff who, like other retailers, have endured a very challenging year of closures, restrictions and fast-changing Covid-19 guidance. Despite those pressures, they have remained absolutely focussed on ensuring the safety of customers and the protection of young people.”



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