12/4/09 – The UK Gambling Commission's rolling programme of nationwide test purchase visits to terrestrial betting premises to determine that adequate and effective controls are in place to prevent underage gambling has continued, and the latest results are now available.
While the results show that there is still plenty of work to be done, the five major betting operators in Great Britain, accounting for around 80 percent of betting shops, have made considerable progress, the report reveals.
Following disturbing andhadlie grabbing results in May this year (see previous InfoPowa report) when almost all shops failed a similar exercise, these results show that in 65 percent of the 160 shops visited, a person under 18 years of age was prevented from placing a bet at the counter.
The report shows that at Ladbrokes premises 74 percent of ‘underage' sting attempts to enter were turned away; William Hill shops rejected 68 percent; Tote 63 percent; Betfred 60 percent and Gala Coral 57 percent.
The Commission is meeting the operators concerned next week to discuss the detailed results and how they plan to secure the further improvements needed. The rolling programme of test purchase visits will continue as part of te Commission's ongoing compliance programme.
This exercise also covered initial visits to a small sample of those medium and smaller betting operators in England and Wales that make up 20 percent of the total number of betting shops. The results were poor with only 35 percent of betting shops visited preventing someone under age from betting at the counter.
Again, the Commission, working with local councils, is rapidly engaging with those operators whose shops were visited to secure immediate improvement plans.
The Director of Regulation at the Commission, Nick Tofiluk, said “The Commission is pleased that operators have responded rapidly to the action we took earlier this year. However young people under 18 are not permitted to gamble; there must be no let up in the effort to improve. Test purchase exercises, by both the Commission and licensing authorities, will continue."
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