GC to improve monitoring of gambling harm in minors

3 May 2019

The Gambling Commission of England, Scotland and Wales has set out a new framework designed to measure gambling harm among children and young people, while the regulator has also issued a reminder to operators that new rules for age and identity verification will come into force from next week.

Developed by Ipsos MORI in collaboration with the Commission, Advisory Board for Safer Gambling and GambleAware, the framework aims to cover the various types of harm associated with gambling at young ages.

The framework splits potential harm into four domains: health, relationships, development and finance. These areas, and the various issues that they cover, were established through a number of methods, with input from young people, professionals from the gambling industry and those with experience working with younger people.

Opinions recorded during an expert workshop with industry professionals and youth workers, as well as information gathered during focus groups with young people, allowed Ipsos MORI to develop the questions. These will now be included its annual Young Person’s Omnibus, an annual survey of school age children across the UK. The results of this are expected later this year.

Once data from the survey has been collected, the Commission and its partners will work together to see which questions are most effective for the monitoring of children and young people who are gambling. The regulator will put these questions to 11-16-year-olds on a yearly basis to help establish the level of gambling-related harm in this age group.

The report comes after the Commission last week published its new National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms, with a focus on improving prevention and education efforts and enhancing treatment and support.

“Gaining a better understanding of the impact of gambling on children and young people is a key priority for the Commission,” Helen Rhodes, programme director for safer gambling at the regulator, said.

“This newly released framework will provide critical insight into the range of harms that young people in Britain can experience and will help greatly in concentrating the National Strategy’s prevention and education initiatives where they will have the most impact.”

Clare Wyllie, director of research and evaluation at GambleAware, added: “This initial framework is designed to help guide and focus research and action to reduce gambling harms in children and young people. We encourage other researchers to build further evidence to develop the framework, so together we can move faster and go further to reduce gambling harms.”

Meanwhile, the Commission has issued a reminder to licensees that new rules for age and identity verification procedures in online gaming will come into effect next week.

From May 7, operators that have not yet verified the name, address and date of birth of any customer will need to have completed verification before allowing them to gamble.

Operators are not permitted to confiscate a customer’s funds on the basis that they have not provided ID by May 7. Last year, the Competitions and Markets Authority ruled consumers are legally entitled to money they have deposited in their account, as well as winnings made with money they have deposited and gambled, and winnings from a bonus where relevant conditions have been met.