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Gambling Regulation and Vulnerability

Malgorzata A. Carran

Since the UK Gambling Act of 2005 was introduced, gambling has stopped being seen, politically and legally as an inherent vice and is now viewed as a legitimate form of entertainment. Gambling Regulation and Vulnerability explores the laws around gambling that aim to protect society and individuals, examining the differences between regulatory rhetoric and the impact of legislative and regulatory measures. Malgorzata Carran finds that although the Gambling Act introduced many positive changes to gambling regulation, it has created an environment in which protection of vulnerable individuals becomes difficult. Carran challenges the existing legislative premise that regulation alone is able to balance the effect of liberalisation for those who are vulnerable.
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Chapter 4: Prevention of underage gambling

Malgorzata A. Carran


‘It is probably not possible [as yet] to ensure that minors never play, but hopefully it will be achievable in the future’ (gambling industry representative) Robust age-verification measures are essential in protecting minors from premature initiation into gambling. The industry is required, under the threat of regulatory and criminal sanctions, to devise and implement policies that should effectively prevent underage access. Despite that, many children and young people continue to be able to engage in prohibited gambling. This chapter elucidates the social and legal reasons for this position and analyses existing age-verification methods. It exposes the weaknesses in the nature of the statutory and regulatory rules that dictate what the industry must do and highlights discrepancies between black letter laws and their practical interpretations. It calls for more emphasis on the need for the encouragement of wider responsibility amongst the general public to ensure that the efforts undertaken by legitimate licence holders are not undermined by parents, guardians or older friends who may directly or indirectly facilitate underage gambling.

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