Premises al­lowed teens to gam­ble


TWO busi­nesses in Rochdale are be­ing in­ves­ti­gated af­ter they al­lowed chil­dren to gam­ble on their premises.

The firms, which can­not be named while en­quiries are on­go­ing, al­lowed 16-year-old vol­un­teers to gam­ble with­out ques­tion­ing their age or ask­ing for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion dur­ing an ex­er­cise run by Rochdale coun­cil.

The vol­un­teers were ac­com­pa­nied by the coun­cil’s trad­ing stan­dards team, the li­cenc­ing team and the Gam­bling Com­mis­sion in the ex­er­cise which tested four premises in the bor­ough.

Un­der the Gam­bling Act, it is a crim­i­nal of­fence to al­low un­der­18s to en­ter an adult gam­ing cen­tre, bet­ting premises and ar­eas in a fam­ily en­ter­tain­ment cen­tres that con­tain cat­e­gory C gam­bling ma­chines, which al­low stakes of £1 and pay out up to £100.

In the ex­er­cise, the chil­dren were al­lowed to gam­ble on cat­e­gory C gam­ing ma­chines with­out be­ing asked for ID at one book­mak­ers and an amuse­ment ar­cade.

Full in­ves­ti­ga­tions will now be car­ried out and the firms could re­ceive warn­ings, cau­tions, or even be pros­e­cuted.

Coun Sara Row­botham, cab­i­net mem­ber for health and well­be­ing at Rochdale coun­cil, said: “Gam­bling can have a dev­as­tat­ing im­pact on a per­son’s life so it’s im­por­tant we work hard to en­sure busi­nesses are ful­fill­ing their duty to op­er­ate re­spon­si­bly.

“We will con­tinue to work with all busi­nesses selling age-re­stricted prod­ucts and ser­vices to pro­tect the health and well­be­ing of our young peo­ple.”

●●Coun Sara Row­botham

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