The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has reiterated its commitment to protecting children from the risks of being exposed to gambling in the digital age.
On Tuesday, the UKGC pledged to ensure that young people, especially children, are protected from possible gambling-related harm after experts from the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB) called for greater public debate on the role of gambling in society.
But protecting children from gambling harm goes beyond regulatory action, according to UKGC Executive Director Tim Miller.
“Safeguarding children in a digital age is complex, and what both RGSB and our research has highlighted is that it takes a multi-faceted approach by us, government, educators, gambling firms and parents. It will take firm ongoing commitments from the Commission as gambling regulator, but also from all of those with a part to play,” Miller said in a statement.
Citing the RGSB report, the UKGC has identified at least four areas that need to be addressed: access and exposure to gambling by children and young people; digital and online risks; preventative education and treatment; and evidence collection and consumer engagement.
UKGC said it remains committed to improving standards of player protection, particularly in the arcade and national lottery sectors where there might be cases of operators selling their products to minors. The watchdog also vowed to improve the speed and effectiveness of online age verification.
When it comes to shielding children from being exposed to online video game skin gambling, the UKGC called on other state regulators to “act with them” since the issue will be lessened, if not resolved, through international coordination of intelligence sharing and enforcement.
The commission vowed to put pressure on video game companies to ensure that their products are gambling-free and to prevent third parties from using their products to provide illegal gambling, while also emphasizing the importance of education, prevention, and treatment of problem gambling in the country’s children protection strategy. The UKGC admitted that understanding and measuring gambling-related harms inflicted on children requires dedicated work.