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Gambling and gaming: the risk to children and young people

The council has a statutory duty to ensure gambling facilities operate responsibly, so that children and other vulnerable people are protected from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

How have changes to government acts affected children's access to licensed premises?

The Licensing Act 2003

The Licensing Act 2003 brought about a change in thinking about children’s access to licensed premises and now it is normal for children to be allowed into pubs, clubs and other licensed premises.

Under the Act a number of ‘Responsible Authorities’ have been created, each one should be notified of any new license applications or any variations to existing licenses.

The Responsible Authorities include Police, Fire Authority, Planning Authority and the East Riding of Yorkshire Children’s Services is the ‘Responsible Authority’ in respect of the protection of children from harm.

The Gambling Act 2005

As part of licensing reform, in 2007 the Government implemented a new regulatory regime at premises where gambling activities take place, to promote safer practice in relation to children and vulnerable adults. The Gambling Act 2005 is underpinned by three objectives which the ‘Responsible Authorities’ along with licensees and their operators, must meet. 

These are:     

  • To prevent gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder, or being used to support crime
  • Ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way; and
  • To protect children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling. 

The ERYC Licencing Team

The ERYC Licencing Team act as a Responsible Authority under the Gambling Act 2005 and as such, has a statutory duty to ensure gambling facilities operate responsibly so that children and other vulnerable people are protected from being harmed or exploited by gambling. There are also restrictions placed on the employment of children, or children involved in the provision of commercial entertainment, under the local Bylaws and under the Children and Young Person Act 1963 (section 18).

The Licensing Team can be contacted by telephone on (01482) 396297 or by email: licensing@eastriding.gov.uk

For advice regarding the employment of children and young people contact the council's Education Welfare Service by telephone on (01482) 392146 or 

Email: education.welfare@eastriding.gov.uk

What are the risks to children and young people?

The risks to children will vary depending on the type of gambling activity and premises. Safeguarding systems should be in place to prevent children and young people accessing adult gambling activities both within premises and online.

Children and young people are at risk of being:

  • exposed to information or advertising encouraging them to gamble
  • allowed or invited to gamble or bet in a commercial setting
  • allowed to purchase and consume alcohol
  • groomed for illegal activities including child criminal and or sexual exploitation and trafficking
  • witness to, or involved in substance misuse, other criminal activity, or dangerous or threatening behaviour
  • financially exploited including debt bondage 
  • burdened with problems caused by gambling addiction. 

What are licensees' and operators' legal responsibilities?

Licensees and their operators have legal responsibilities and are expected to operate in a socially responsible way. The regulations offer a range of opportunities to operators and communities, to develop leisure and entertainment facilities for gambling.  

Further information is available from the Licensing and Registrations section of the site, with specific information available from:

Licensing and safeguarding children

Gambling licenses

Advice on temporary event licenses is available from the Temporary event notices page within the Licencing section.

Is there any further advice and support for people with gambling problems?

Information about the signs of problem gambling can be found on the Gambleaware and Gamcare websites. They also provide general information about gambling, including how to gamble safely and where to get help if you or someone you know has problems with their gambling.

You can call the national gambling helpline free of charge on 0808 8020 133 (open 8am - midnight, 7-days-a-week).

The Gambling Commission

Tel: 0121 230 6666 

Visit: Gambling commission (external website)

Gambleaware

Tel: 0845 6000 133

Website: Gambleaware (external website)

Gamcare

Tel: 0845 6000 133

Website: Gamcare (external website)

Other useful Contacts:

Citizens Advice

Website: Citizens Advice (external website)

Gamblers Anonymous

Website: Gamblers Anonymous (external website)

Gam-Anon

Website: Gam-Anon (external website)

Is there any advice on how to deal with debt problems?

National Debtline

National Debtline Provides free confidential and independent advice on how to deal with debt problems. 

National helpline number: 08088 084000

StepChange

StepChange Debt Charity provides debt counselling. 

If you are thinking about taking on a debt management plan (DMP), StepChange Debt Charity provides realistic advice and a DMP with no fees attached.  

Tel: 0800 138 1111 or Visit StepChange Debt Remedy, their anonymous, online debt advice service:

StepChange (external website)

Is there any advice on how to deal with loan sharks?

A loan shark is a moneylender who charges extremely high rates of interest, typically under illegal conditions. The Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) is a specialist agency that prosecutes loan sharks and supports people affected by this crime.

To report a loan shark to the Stop Loan Sharks project, call the 24/7 confidential hotline on 0300 555 2222, or text 07860 022 116. All calls are confidential and you can remain anonymous if you wish.

Website: Stop Loan Sharks (external website)

You can also email reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk, or report a loan shark online.

What are the risks for children and young people from gaming?

For most children and young people, gaming is a fun way to spend time with friends and create opportunities to develop teamwork, concentration skills and problem-solving.  

Many games have adopted an interactive online element - whether it’s playing against other users, chatting or making purchases. The communication within gaming helps coordinate multi-player game tactics, although it can be just to chat as gamers play. However, this communication can present as a risk to young people as gaming platforms can be used by adults seeking to groom and harm children and young people. 

Thinkuknow is the education programme from NCA-CEOP, a UK organisation which protects children both online and offline. Their website provides helpful advice and support about gaming.

Interactive guidance for children and young people: 

Website: Thinkuknow (external website)

Advice for parents/carers: 

Website: Thinkuknow parents (external website)

Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM): 

Website: YGAM (external website)

What are the signs of gaming addiction?

  1. Preoccupation with gaming to the point where he or she is agitated when away from it
  2. Downplaying the amount of time that he or she is spending playing games
  3. Inability to limit the time they spend playing games
  4. Avoiding spending time with family members and friends because this will take away from gaming time
  5. Neglecting personal hygiene, again because this could reduce the amount of time available for gameplay
  6. Becoming defensive when questioned about the amount of time spent playing games
  7. Experiencing extreme fatigue as a result of not getting enough sleep due to too many hours playing games
  8. Headaches or migraines due to eye strain or intense concentration on a game
  9. Carpal tunnel syndrome from excessive use of a controller or mouse. 

Source: YGAM/BeGambleAware.org

Who do I contact if I am concerned about a child or young person?

Early Help and Safeguarding Hub (EHaSH)

If anything in the content of this page gives you concern about a child or young person, you must pass this information on and can gain advice from the Early Help and Safeguarding Hub (EHaSH):

Tel: (01482) 395500

Email: childrens.socialcare@eastriding.gcsx.gov.uk

Childline

Tel freephone: 0800 1111 

Website: Childline - Contacting Childline (external website)

YoungMinds

Website: YoungMinds (external website)

Young person looking for help and support:

Text the YoungMinds Crisis Messenger, for free 24/7 support across the UK if you are experiencing a mental health crisis.

If you need urgent help text YM to 85258.

All texts are answered by trained volunteers, with support from experienced clinical supervisors.

Texts are free from EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom Plus.

Parents looking for support:

Parents helpline: 0808 802 5544

Call us for free Mon-Fri from 9.30am to 4pm – available in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

East Riding Safeguarding Children Partnership

Website: ERSCP - Professionals and volunteers (external council website)

Immediate safeguarding concerns

If you think the child or young person is in immediate danger phone the Police on 999.