Chapter 4: Prevention of underage gambling
‘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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