The proverbial hot potato, gambling harm get more attention with the latest Gamble Aware quarterly briefings publication. Where the organization disclose some alarming figures and number of underage player at risk or on its way to being. Yet, the findings do point the finger elsewhere then the hard held online casino businesses in the UK. But still, the fact remains, underage people, find ways to spend its money on gambling-related products. Though, the most startling part of the brief notes is how low the reported ages are. And organizations like Gamble Aware and the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) soon need to shift gear and talk about the real cause: how this is possible?
From Gamble Aware’s quarterly briefing notes. There is to read that there are around 340,000 underage players in a certain age range currently active in the UK. Telling us that the concerns and reported numbers come from “players” between 11 to 16-years-of-age. Which, according to surveys, indicate that the age group spent money the “last week” on gambling. Where more in-depth details outline that 1.7% categorizes as “problem gamblers”. While an astonishing 2.7%, still in the same age span, is at “risk.” However, what the findings do not tell us is where exactly the age group spends their money. As a fact, with UKGC’s stiff regulations on Know Your Customer (KYC), source of wealth, source of funds, and ID verification. We can all agree that it has nothing to do with the online casino operators in the UK.
First, we like to point out that there is nothing more important than limiting. But also to exclude any underage player from exposure and access to any type of gambling products. Though, the online casino industry is not the culprit in this story. As there are more products that directly link and advertise to an underage audience that also falls under “gambling.” Plus, without naming names. The UK still has a somewhat distorted view of what businesses, that should comply with the rigid rules and regulation. This in relation to online gambling. But, on a positive note. The industry as a whole as promised to allocate £100 Million in benefit for organizations helping people with gambling harm. Additionally, in March 2021 Gamble Aware will release its 5-year road map. That should be an exciting read. So, more to follow on the crucial work queued in the pipeline.