Gambling: Children:Written question - 165590

Asked on: 18 July 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Gambling: Children
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he has made an assessment of the potential merits of the conclusions the report, Skin gambling: teenage Britain’s secret habit, published by Parent Zone in June 2018 of the assessment he has made of the findings of the June 2018; and what discussions he has had with the Gambling Commission on underage skin gambling.
Answered by: Tracey Crouch
Answered on: 25 July 2018

The report from ParentZone highlighted concerns around ‘skins’ gambling, including that this may permit children to access gambling sites. It identified the role the government, industry, regulators and parents play in protecting children online.

Protecting children and the vulnerable from being harmed or exploited by gambling is a priority for the government and a core objective of the regulation of gambling in Great Britain. There are strong protections in place against operators of illegal gambling facilities, including within video games.

The Gambling Commission published a position paper which addressed gambling with in-game items in May 2017. It has a range of powers to act where there is a failure to prevent illegal gambling, including bringing criminal action against unlicensed operators that offer gambling to children.

The Commission is closely monitoring the convergence between video games and gambling and has shown it will take action and prosecute unlicensed gambling. The Commission is also seeking to work with the video games industry to raise awareness of and explore solutions to this issue.

As part of its work to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online, the Government published the Internet Safety Strategy Green Paper in October 2017 and published its consultation response in May this year.

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