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Gambling: Children

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL162, tabled on 16 October 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to address the number of children who gamble.

Answered on

29 October 2019

Operators offering gambling services to people in Great Britain must have a licence from the Gambling Commission and have procedures in place to prevent underage gambling. The Gambling Commission has a range of powers to act in the case of failure, including the power to suspend or revoke a licence, impose financial penalties or prosecute criminal offences.

Although it is legal for children to engage in some forms of gambling – for example, betting between friends or on crane grab machines in Family Entertainment Centres – the law is clear that children are not allowed to gamble online or in pubs, betting offices and bingo halls. In May the Gambling Commission introduced new rules that require online gambling businesses to verify the age of customers before they can deposit money, gamble, or access play-for-free versions of gambling games. The Gambling Commission is also working with local authorities and the hospitality sector to improve the enforcement of legal age requirements on the use of gaming machines in pubs.