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Best Betting Sites UK / The latest sports news with betting.co.uk / Gambling Industry News & Legal Updates / BGC Applauds Betting Shops for Robust Approach to Age Verification

BGC Applauds Betting Shops for Robust Approach to Age Verification

Publish Date: 27/08/2021
Fact checked by: James Leeland

A recent report published by independent analyst Serve Legal shows that British betting shops are leading the way in the retail sector when it comes to age verification checks.

british betting shop

The firm carried out spot checks this year to find out whether secret shoppers were asked for identification documents when purchasing age restricted products. Every outlet that participated in the survey was awarded 1 point for asking the mystery shopper to provide age verification documents at any point during their visit.

According to the data published by the independent age check auditors, 90% of betting shops in the UK passed the test, outperforming convenience stores (83%), supermarkets (77%), and petrol stations (76%).

The report shows a remarkable improvement in the industry, given that only 67% of betting shops passed the test when the firm introduced the age verification compliance audits.

BGC Commends Betting Shops for Progress

The latest report by Serve Legal has been welcomed by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), who have applauded retail operators for their diligence and efforts towards protecting young people from underage sales.

The standards body, led by its Chief Executive Michael Dugher, said:

‘’Regulated BGC members have a zero-tolerance approach to under-18s betting and I am delighted to see that the age verification systems in place in betting shops are robust. By any measure, age verification standards have improved since they were first introduced and once again betting shops are leading the retail sector in terms of compliance.’’

‘’I want to pay tribute to betting shop staff who, like other retailers, have endured a very challenging year of closures, restrictions and fast-changing covid-19 guidance. Despite those pressures, they have remained absolutely focused on ensuring the safety of customers and the protection of young people,’’ the statement continued.

The Chief Executive went on to equate the robust checks carried out by retail operators to measures taken by the online industry to protect minors from gambling. These include employing new marketing tools to prevent under-18s from seeing gambling-related adverts, and using age verification checks on online platforms like YouTube.

Dugher ended his statement by encouraging digital platforms, particularly social media platforms, to step up efforts in protecting young people from underage gambling. He further urged industry stakeholders to continue working towards ensuring that UK bettors are protected from the illegal and unregulated black market.

Serve Legal is an independent ID and compliance testing company based in the United Kingdom.

Founded in 2006, the company uses secret shoppers aged 18 and 19 years to carry out age verification compliance audits across the retail sector in the UK and Ireland. The objective of these tests is to establish whether retailers ask customers for identification documents when they visit their outlets to purchase age-restricted products.

Businesses that ask the mystery shopper to provide age verification documents to complete transactions are awarded a pass, while those that don’t require any documents for age-restricted purchases fail the test.

Businesses targeted by these spot checks include retail betting shops, petrol forecourts, bars, and supermarkets.

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