BBPA & UKH launch guidance for tackling under-age gambling in pubs

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) and UKHospitality (UKH) have joined forces to unveil guidance for tackling under-age gambling in pubs.

The two trade bodies have united to work with their members and produce an updated Social Responsibility Charter for Gaming Machines in Pubs.

The Charter incorporates a Code of Practice aimed at promoting collaboration and training to prevent under-age gambling:

Core principles:
> Collaboration across the sector to address under-age gambling
> Supporting staff to ensure they understand and meet their legal responsibilities
> Co-operation with regulatory and enforcement bodies
> Engagement with the Gambling Commission
> Support the work of GambleAware

The Code of Practice provides practical guidance on training to ensure that staff are best placed to tackle under-age gambling where it occurs within pubs. It will be supported by a programme of age-verification testing, instigated by the industry itself, to ensure that pubs are taking practical steps to reduce under-age gambling.

Brigid Simmonds, BBPA's Chief Executive, said, “The BBPA and our members are committed to keeping the pub a safe and friendly environment for families, so we have taken concerns raised by the Gambling Commission seriously.

'I am therefore pleased that we have produced collectively an updated charter and code of practice that will help pub companies and independent pubs ensure that there is no under-age gambling in their premises. The code highlights the need for focused staff training and the use of Challenge 21/25 guidelines.

“It is important for pubs to ensure that their gaming machines are not used by those under-age. Not least because failure to do so could result in action being taken by Local Authorities to remove gaming machine entitlements, when they offer both entertainment and much needed additional revenue for overtaxed pubs.”

UKHospitality's Chief Executive, Kate Nicholls commented, “Pubs are, by and large, safe and supervised environments in which to relax. It is increasingly obvious, though, that pubs can and should be doing more to tackle to under-age gambling on their premises.

“Gaming machines are a vital revenue stream in pubs and many customers enjoy gambling responsibly when they go to the pub. There can be no room for under-age gambling, though, and we need to ensure that standards on this issue are as high as they are in every other aspect of pubs.

“I am very pleased that UKH and the BBPA have used their collective wisdom to produce a Charter that will help our members, and the whole pub sector, stamp out under-age play wherever it occurs.”