Think 21, a new underage gambling prevention policy, has recently been questioned by racing industry officials. The strategy, aimed at preventing underage gambling at race tracks and other venues, is not clear about age verification. According to sport betting operators, the age verification at race courses is difficult to enforce under the new campaign. This comes after seven gambling operators were caught taking bets from a 16-year-old at the 2019 Royal Ascot.
Regardless of the fact that the policy is rolled out at every race track in the UK, there is little clarity on how to verify the age of a customer. At least one track, Doncaster, tried to introduce special wristbands for overage gamblers. However, the attempt wasn’t successful and considered ineffective. Another issue faced by on-course betting operators is the advertised “family day out” and how to prevent underage people in a group from gambling.
Operators Implicated by Think 21
Following the case of the underage gambler at the Royal Ascot, seven operators’ licenses are being reviewed. Since preventing underage gambling is a social responsibility requirement in the UK, these on-course bookmakers face large fines. While there is a responsibility for the industry, they claim that further clarification is needed to prevent future issues.
Identity cards are no longer required in the UK after the Windrush data scandal, but the government appears to be considering re-introducing them. Yet continuing problems with data protection across the globe makes this scheme a little less viable. So, how can operators comply with regulations and still enforce controls? Training employees is the only answer.
Training Needed for Policy
All gambling operators in the UK are expected to train staff in working procedures. These procedures include offering bets and ensuring compliance. Unfortunately, there is no set way to verify age and other responsibility policies. Thus, the Chairman of the British Racecourse Bookmakers’ Association has vowed to “work closely with the UK Gambling Commission” to reach a solution. In addition, the Racecourse Bookmakers Federation has confirmed similar intentions going forward.
Whether or not further training for Think 21 will help avoid further scandal is yet to be seen. For updates on this story and other gambling news, keep visiting KiwiCasinos.nz.
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