AWP test purchase ops set to rise

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Gaming machines, Poppleston allen

Gaming: makes sure users are under-18
Gaming: makes sure users are under-18
A firm of leading licensing solicitors has warned that test purchase operations on AWP machines are set to rise. Poppleston Allen said that a recent...

A firm of leading licensing solicitors has warned that test purchase operations on AWP machines are set to rise.

Poppleston Allen said that a recent test purchase operation by an East London council had led to a high number of failures — and it expects many more councils to conduct similar operations in the coming months.

Under the Gambling Act, under-18s are allowed to play on category D gaming machines — such as cranes and pushers — but not on category C machines, predominantly found in pubs.

The maximum penalty for allowing under-18s to play on AWPs is a £5,000 fine and/or 51 weeks imprisonment. It could also spark a review of the premises licence under the crime and disorder objective.

"There is a defence if a person charged for inviting, causing or permitting an under 18 to gamble has taken all reasonable steps to determine the individual's age and that they reasonably believed that the individual was not under-18," said Poppleston Allen's Nick Arron.

"So, you should ensure that your age identification procedures are strictly observed in relation to gaming machines, as they are in relation to the sale of alcohol.

"Good due diligence includes positioning the gaming machines so they can be supervised at all times and monitored by CCTV. It is common practice to position the gaming machines in and around the bar.

"Ensure you train all staff to ask the age of individuals playing on gaming machines and position clear signs near gaming machines that under-18s are not permitted to play.

"Ensure you keep records of all staff training and you could enter incidents where you ask for individuals' ages and the results in a log.

He added: "The powers in the Act make it easy for enforcement operations using under 18s. We expect this type of activity to increase as the powers become more well-known.

Related topics: Other operators

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