UK looking to increase minimum gambling age to 18
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been reportedly making plans to increase the minimum age of those participating in gambling or gambling-related activities to 18 years old and above starting from next year.
In a report on Tuesday from The Sun newspaper, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden supports this proposal that is “part of a wide range government review on iGaming;” and is said to be supporting the increase of the minimum age from age 16 years to 18; initially supposed to be the threshold to participate in all online sales six months ago.
This news comes after the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) commenced the Gambling Act 2005 Review by first publishing the Gambling Act 2005 Call for Evidence. The terms of agreement underline a strong focus on responsible gambling; significantly protecting young people from all harm caused by gambling.
Dowden stated the following:
“The United Kingdom’s gambling industry has evolved at breakneck speed since the passing of the governing Gambling Act 2005, which was ratified under the administration of the former Prime Minister Tony Blair, and changes are intended to help those who enjoy placing bets to do so safely.”
He also highlighted the fact that this change is also meant “to build upon our clear track records of introducing tough measures to protect people from the risk of gambling harm.”
The plan was launched after the use of credit cards was banned for online gambling and also the cut in the maximum stake for the nation’s collection of the fixed-odds betting terminal (FOBT).Dowden explained that while some people are gambling responsibly, the Gambling Act 2005 stands for the following:
“An analogue law in a digital age’s and from an era of having a flutter in a high street bookmaker, casino, racecourse or seaside pier, the industry has evolved at breakneck speed.
This comprehensive review will ensure that we are tackling problem gambling in all its forms to protect children and vulnerable people. It also helps those who enjoy placing a bet to do so safely.”
The National Lottery, run by the Camelot Group, also claimed: “We’ve already started this work in preparation and subject to receiving the appropriate license variations and waiver from the Gambling Commission”.
They further discussed that the National Lottery is focused on completing all changes that are needed by the online channels by early April next year. The news outlet also reported the support of Michael Dugher, Chief Executive officer of the UKGC, declaring that it must be: “one rule for all” when it comes to promoting safer gambling habits and practices. He further advised the parliament to “remember the huge economic contribution made by the betting and gaming industry.”
Dugher stated that:
“I hope ministers will focus in with laser-like precision on problem gamblers and those at risk. The government must ensure that any changes do not deprive people to the unregulated black market online where there aren’t any safeguards to protect vulnerable people.”