Reducing The Risk of Underage Gambling
March 23, 2021
The UK gambling landscape is constantly evolving with the addition of new forms of gaming and ways to access them.
But there are areas where regulation is lagging behind the development of the industry and worryingly, these represent a gateway to vulnerable members of society.
Below is a list of all the topics we will cover in this article. Go ahead and click on any of these links, and you’ll be taken to that specific section.
The Gambling Landscape Today
Despite wider economic struggles, one industry that continues to perform well is the gaming sector. With more time to kill and when your console of choice is something you keep with you at all times, it’s easy to see why the last year had such a positive impact on a market with such a low barrier to entry.
In the last decade, gaming has largely moved into the digital space; the majority of gambling is now online in the UK, with 38.6% of all gambling revenue being generated remotely.
Increased access and convenience means that the online gambling industry is booming, but it is vital that adequate checks are in place to protect consumers – particularly those who are underage or vulnerable.
A recent article reported that a 13-year-old boy spent £80,000 through posing as his father online using his business credit cards.
The Gambling Commission has previously highlighted age verification as a priority policy action to address, and with increased traffic via digital channels, it is critical that the verification solutions implemented can effectively cope with this.
The rise of gaming and gambling has coincided with an increase in marketing and easier access to platforms and the vulnerable members of our society can be exposed to gambling anywhere and at any given time. Some of these mechanisms of exposure are cleverly disguised, while others are not even officially recognised as gambling. There are constant adverts on TV and online and video games are increasingly housing gambling-style, mini-games for in-game currency.
While underage gambling laws and checks are in place to protect children from traditional forms of gambling, the same methods are harder to quantify and regulate when they’re applied in video games.
The exponential rise of in-game ‘mini-games’ and purchases such as ‘loot boxes’ provides a gateway to wider gambling in a totally unregulated space.
Once children are exposed to and begin gambling, it’s very easy for them to become addicted; several studies have shown that kids exposed to gambling have a much higher chance of developing crippling gambling addictions later in life. Furthermore, a study led by an international team of scientists at the Imperial College of London found that being addicted to gambling activates the same neural pathways as being addicted to drugs or alcohol.
How We Can Help
Some countries like Belgium have taken a hard stance on children transacting in-game and have banned the use of lootboxes in all games sold there. Many governments around the world are actively considering following suit.
Regulation is coming and businesses should keep up with the changes and latest technologies. Secure and reliable levels of verification and authentication should be implemented to prevent fraud from taking place and protect the most vulnerable in our society.
Acuant’s age verification solutions provide businesses with a robust way to quickly and effectively verify a customer’s name and date of birth. This can be done throughout the user journey, whether during the registration process or checkout.
Our comprehensive family of KYC and AML solutions all work together and are delivered via a single API integration. Using this wide range of data, we provide a unique, real-time ID scoring system that intelligently verifies the identity and can be sure your customers are who they say they are.
Our global ID, KYC & AML platform, Sodium, is designed to help save you time and money, streamline your customer journey, automate your onboarding process, reduce fraud and achieve regulatory compliance. One simple integration; a flexible 360° solution that is scalable and secure.
Utilise a single element or multiple processes – it’s entirely up to you. Learn more about how we can help to automate and simplify your verification processes to help you to learn more about your customers.
Book a demo today and see for yourself how powerful our suite of solutions are.