The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), which is currently the authority that regulates the local gambling industry, published an open letter to the Editor of The Sunday Times after the latter revealed some findings about the risks of children being targeted by online gambling operators.
The UK gambling regulatory body has emphasized on its commitment to using its powers, knowledge and expertise in order to create a safer environment in terms of online gambling.
As Casino Guardian has reported yesterday, The Sunday Times has released new data after an investigation, showing that some of the biggest gambling companies in the UK use storybook and cartoon characters in the online gambling options they offer and use them to target and attract children.
As it became clear, such British gambling operators are not practically breaching the laws and rules implemented by the UK Gambling Commission, as they simply take advantage of a loophole in the country’s gambling legislation. The investigation of The Sunday Times also showed that a large number of games actually do not require neither registration, nor any age-verification.
The UK Gambling Commission responded to the article published by The Sunday Times, saying that it was normal for parents to be concerned by the risks of their children being exposed to online gambling.
The Commission reminded that it has always put children and young people protection from being taken advantage of or harmed by any gambling operator as a paramount goal. The UK gambling regulatory authority further explained that apart from the children-protection policy, its rules require strong age verification checks in order to prevent and put an end to under-age gambling. In its letter to the Editor of The Sunday Times, signed by Executive Director of Corporate Affairs and Research Tim Miller, the UK Gambling Commission wanted to make it clear that it remains very much engaged with the protection of more vulnerable people, and especially children and young people, and insisted that its intentions were to take firm action against companies and activities that endangered customers in any way.
The gambling regulatory body also reminded that its ongoing powers that allowed it to regulate the local online gambling industry have been brought into effect for a few years now. On the other hand, online technologies have been developing very quickly over the past several years, so the Commission has also been engaged in constantly monitoring the approach it takes in order to be in line with the latest trends in the online gambling industry.
What is more, earlier in 2017, the UK Gambling Commission announced that it had started a massive review of the local online gambling market. Furthermore, the wider relationship between the gambling industry and children is being monitored and examined by the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board, which aims has always been to minimise gambling-related harm. As the expert advisors of the UKGC, the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board has been working in close collaboration with the Commission in terms of the National Responsible Gambling Strategy and the priorities set for research of the problem, education about problem gambling behaviour and treatment of gambling addictions.
The open letter of the UK Gambling Commission also stated that new technologies in gambling brings not only new opportunities for the industry, but also new risks. The British gambling regulatory body reminded of the successful prosecution of the YouTube users who were taking advantage of the FIFA computer game in order to offer illegal gambling services that could have been accessed by children and shared it has been the first regulatory body on a global scale that has brought such action.