Study on Underage BettingPublished June 10, 2009
Anti-gambling campaigners see study as proof of their claims; gambling industry insiders promise improvement.
A new study by the UK Gambling Commission exposing a relaxed attitude to underage betting among bookmakers is already being used by anti-gambling campaigners to push their agenda.
The study, published last week, revealed that most betting shops are ignoring laws against underage betting.
The commission inspected 100 gaming outlets, with the results showing that 98 of them took bets from a 17-year-old.
Not surprisingly, the study is being used by opponents of gambling as proof that children are vulnerable to the industry.
"We were told by the government that reforming gambling laws would help to protect our children, but yet again we have damning evidence that shows that isn't happening," said Don Foster of the anti-gambling Liberal Democrat party.
But gambling industry officials have admitted to the problems and promised to work on rectifying the situation.
"We have to take these findings on the chin and admit that for some reason that culture has not been embedded in the industry in the way that it should have been," said Andy Lyman of the Association of British Bookmakers.
The study is the latest in a series by the Gambling Commission - which has responsibility for the regulation of betting and remote gambling - that will no doubt be used in the debate on the future of gaming in Britain.