Young people are on the mind of the UK Gambling Commission, as the regulatory body recently announced additional commitments to protect the younger generations from the dangers of gambling. The Commission will now be building on work that is already underway when it comes to gambling, children and young people.

Expert advisors on the subject were met with by the Commission to provide specific information on the matter. Existing work was brought together with advice submitted by the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board so the Commission can strengthen their focus to ensure that the proper guards are in place to see a reduction in the potential harm to young people and children when it comes to gambling.

The regulator wants to see everyone who is responsible for protecting children to come together and work with the Commission to tackle several issues that have been identified via the advice given by the RGSB. Actions to address will include the access to gambling as well as exposure that children and young people have, along with digital and online risks. The Commission wants to see preventative education provided as well as treatment. Evidence collection along with consumer engagement is also to be considered.

In a statement, Gambling Commission Executive Director, Tim Miller, commented: “We have a strong commitment to protecting children and young people from the harm gambling can post—it’s at the heart of how we regulate. We asked our expert advisors, the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board, to consider this critical theme. The advice helps us to refocus and reinforce what we are already doing and what we need to do next.”

According to Miller, the Commission will be starting targeted compliance and enforcement activity to help identify and take on any weaknesses within the process of age verification, to further protect children from gambling.

Miller discusses how protecting children during the digital age is difficult and from the research, it has been found that it takes a ‘multi-faceted approach’ and the government, the Commission, educators, parents and gambling firms have to come together as they all have a part to play in protecting children from gambling.

The concerns outlined by the Gambling Commission come just a few months after the regulator reported the results of a study that revealed children ages 11 to 15 of Wales and England were gambling at least once a week. The most prevalent forms of gambling were playing cards with friends for money and National Lottery scratchcards.