On-Course Bookies Request Clarification on Age Verification

A number of on-course bookmakers from the horse racing sector have called for further information regarding age verification measures that will address under-age gambling.

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On-course bookmakers have asked for clarification on age verification methods. © Pixabay.

This follows the news that seven on-course bookmakers are to have their licenses reviewed by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) after they had allegedly allowed a 16-year old to bet at Royal Ascot earlier this year.

The sector has come under scrutiny despite the UK policy on “Think 21” being implemented. Representatives from the industry have insisted that they are carrying out age verification checks.

Doncaster racecourse trialed a wristbrand scheme, that gave wristbands only to those over the age of 18. This was meant to help employees spot people underage, but the trial was apparently scrapped and deemed inefficient.

The on-course bookmakers have a difficult job. Races are often marketed as a family day out. Royal Ascot saw 300,000 visitors this year, making bookmaker’s job difficult.

Speaking about the issue, President of the British Racecourse Bookmaker’s Association, Chris Hudson, said:

Obviously we are all concerned about the number of Bookies failing the Age Verification test at Royal Ascot as this Association has worked closely for many years with the UKGC to improve pass rates in this unique sector. I say unique as in our sector unlike the remote sector and other land-based operators such as casinos and betting shops we don’t have a barrier to refuse entry to the premises where we take bets. In the normal course of events most on course, bookies have a think 21 policy and train their staff accordingly at specific training courses provided by the trade associations. This is the BRBA’s recommended operating procedure and members are provided with supporting signage to help them.Chris Hudson, President of the British Racecourse Bookmaker’s Association

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