As a general rule, the minimum legal age for gambling in the UK is 18 years. This applies to adult gaming centres (“amusement arcades”), betting shops, bingo halls, casinos and online gambling.
The exceptions to this are the National Lottery tickets and scratch-cards for which the minimum legal age is 16 years, and Category D electronic gaming machines (maximum stake £0.10, maximum prize £5.00) in Family Entertainment Centres for which there is no minimum legal age.
Operators must have and must put into effect procedures designed to prevent underage gambling and to monitor the effectiveness of these.
Operators should make information available about all of their products together with details of where to seek further assistance if required.
Staff must be trained to recognise the signs that may show that a person has a gambling problem, and must know what to do when they have concerns about a customer.
Operators must have procedures in place allowing you to self-exclude for a length of time – usually between six months and five years. A customer who has followed the procedure to request self-exclusion should be refused service and prevented from gambling.
Some gambling operators allow you to use your credit card and some betting operators will provide credit facilities, but this is increasingly rare. Gambling debts are enforceable in law.
Operators must ensure that the terms by which gambling is offered are not unfair.
All operators must have a procedure to deal with customer complaints and disputes.
It is important to be able to recognise the signs that you may have a gambling problem.
Manage your gambling better by learning more about how you spend your time.
There are various forms of counselling and treatment for problem gambling issues.
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