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