Gambling Commission unveils plans to protect children from online gambling

By Islam Soliman

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has proposed further commitments to better protect children from the risks of being exposed to online gambling.

The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB) said it would constructively work with the Commission to make sure effective arrangements are in place to prevent the risk of harm to children and young people when it comes to online gambling.

To help fulfill their pledge, the UKGC and RGSB have identified four key areas of action: measures to prevent children from accessing online gambling games, educational-based problem gambling prevention programmes, digital and online risks, evidence collection, and consumer engagement.

A report published by the UKGC stated that 25,000 children aged between 11 and 16 are problem gamblers, with another 36,000 at risk.

In a statement on the new proposal, the Chief Executive of the UK Gambling Commission, Tim Miller said: “We have a strong commitment to protecting children and young people from the harm gambling can pose – it’s at the heart of how we regulate. We asked our expert advisers, the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board, to consider this critical theme.

"The advice helps us to refocus and reinforce what we are doing already, and what we need to do next. For example, this year we will be carrying out targeted compliance and enforcement activity to identify and tackle any weaknesses in the age verification processes.

"Safeguarding children in a digital age is complex, and what both RGSB and our research have highlighted is that it takes a multi-faceted approach by us, government, educators, gambling firms, and parents. It will take firm ongoing commitments from the Commission as gambling regulator, but also from all of those with a part to play.”

In addition to the Commission's plans to improve online gambling safety for children, GambleAware, Britain’s leading gambling charity, recently appointed the creative agency M&C Saatchi to help develop a new safer gambling advertising campaign. A statement issued by GambleAware said: “Advertising is an important part of raising awareness and we hope the campaign will play its role, in collaboration with other sectors of society.”

The chief executive of the Gambling Commission, Tim Miller, called on the government, educators, operators, parents, and regulators to help rectify the issue.


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