‘We urgently call the industry and their trade associations to take the results as a serious indication of the need to improve matters,’ says regulators.
Drastic news. Did you know that 90% of pubs in England allow children to gamble on their premises?
The Gambling Commission tested 61 pubs in England and found 89% didn't stop children playing machines detailed by law as 18+.
This varied considerably with 15 - 30% per cent for buying alcohol and smoking.
In a letter to the pub industry, the commission writes: “We urgently call the industry and their trade associations to take the results as a serious indication of the need to improve matters. “We expect that the action taken will be reflected in significant improvements in future test results.”
Helen Rhodes, programme director at the Gambling Commission, said: “We are extremely concerned that pubs across England are failing to stop children playing gaming machines designed for adults. “We urgently call on the pub sector to take action immediately to enforce the laws in place to protect children and young people.
“We expect to see significant improvement in further tests and will continue to work with licensing authorities to support any action required against those failing to adhere to the requirements.”
Simon Blackburn, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: “If these findings reflect the wider pub industry’s ability to ensure responsible oversight of adult-only gaming machines, that would be extremely concerning. “It is vital our children and young people are kept safe and protected from the problems gambling can cause. “Pub managers must be as vigilant about under-age gambling as they are about under-age drinking. It is completely unacceptable to turn a blind eye to children playing gaming machines that are restricted to over-18s, which risks young people becoming addicted to gambling.”