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Underage betting under UKGC microscope

The GB Gambling Commission (UKGC) is to review seven on-course bookmakers’ licenses after it was found they had allowed a 16-year old to place a bet at this year’s Royal Ascot.

Last month police officers from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, supported by the Commission and Trading Standards, carried out age verification purchasing tests during the event, which ran from 18 to 22 June.

The investigation revealed that seven of the 17 tested operators allowed a minor to place a £5 bet, in breach of the 18+ age restriction on betting. The Commission did not reveal the identity of the bookmakers involved, though it did confirm that the seven will face disciplinary action.

“These license reviews show how strongly we feel about underage gambling. Every single gambling business must protect children from gambling, but the on-course bookmakers results have remained unacceptable,” explained Richard Watson, UKGC Executive Director.

Watson also said the on-course (bookmaker who is present at the race course or other events) sector had a history of failing age verification demands.

“Pass rates have failed to meet the standards expected and the sector has consistently performed to levels below those we see in other gambling and age-restricted products. We welcome the positive initiates by the local authority and the racecourse to raise standards in the gambling industry,” added Watson.

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