Study shows betting shops lead the way on age verification checks

Betting shops: Paddy Power and Ladbrokes have been forced to close on Tuesday
A total of 90 per cent of betting shops passed the Serve Legal testCredit: Patrick McCann

Betting shops in Britain have a better record on age verification checks than convenience stores, supermarkets and petrol forecourts, according to a recent study by independent analysts Serve Legal.

The company carried out spot checks to test whether secret shoppers were asked to prove if they were 18 during their visit to the betting shop. If they were, the shop passed the test.

A total of 90 per cent of betting shops have passed in 2021, compared to 83 per cent of convenience stores, 77 per cent of supermarkets and 76 per cent of petrol forecourts. When the tests were introduced in 2010, only 67 per cent of betting shops passed.

Michael Dugher, chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), said: "Regulated BGC members have a zero tolerance approach to under-18s betting and I'm delighted to see the age verification systems in place in betting shops are robust.

"By any measure, age verification standards have improved since they were first introduced and once again betting shops are leading the retail sector in terms of compliance.

Michael Dugher: chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council
Michael Dugher: chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council

"I want to pay tribute to betting shop staff who, like other retailers, have endured a very challenging year of closures, restrictions and fast-changing Covid-19 guidance. Despite those pressures, they have remained absolutely focused on ensuring the safety of customers and the protection of young people.

"The work we're doing in betting shops is mirrored in the actions we're taking online, including new tools to prevent under-18s seeing betting adverts and new age-verification checks on digital platforms such as YouTube.

"There’s more to be done and we encourage social media platforms to do more. We also need to ensure customers continue to stay in the regulated industry and not gamble with the unregulated black market with no checks or protections.

"Meanwhile, the Young People's Gambling Harm Prevention Programme, funded by £10 million from BGC members and delivered by the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust and GamCare, continues to make impressive inroads, reaching half a million young people in the first six months of this year."

Read more:

Hamilton to be the first Scottish track to welcome full capacity crowd

'It's completely mad' – what racing must change in order to boost its appeal

One-off awards launched to salute work of betting shop staff during the pandemic

Watch live races through the Racing Post. Log in to your bookmaker account and look on the racecards for eligible races. Click the red 'Watch live now' icon and they're off! Find out how here

Published on inNews

Last updated