The two trade bodies have joined forces to produce an updated ‘Social Responsibility Charter for Gaming Machines in Pubs’ to ensure staff are best advised to prevent the illegal activity from happening.
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “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 underage gambling on their premises.”
Some of the core principles of the code include: collaboration across the sector to address the issue; supporting staff to ensure they understand and meet their legal responsibilities; and co-operation with regulatory and enforcement bodies.
BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds 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 underage gambling in their premises.
“The code highlights the need for focused staff training and the use of Challenge 21/25 guidelines.”
Vital revenue stream
It will be supported by a programme of age-verification testing, instigated by the industry itself, to guarantee that pubs are taking practical steps to reduce underage gambling.
Nicholls said gaming machines are a vital revenue stream in pubs and many customers enjoy gambling responsibly when they go to the pub.
She added: “There can be no room for underage gambling, though, and we need to ensure that standards on this issue are as high as they are in every other aspect of pubs.”
Simmonds added it is important for pubs to abide by the code as failure to do so could result in action being taken by local authorities to remove gaming machine entitlements.