Betting shops have scored a major success in preventing under-18s from betting.

Figures released by independent analysts Serve Legal showed a huge rise in the number of bookies preventing young people from entering their shops.

Over the past 10 years, the proportion of betting shops passing spot checks on under-age players has increased from 67 per cent to 91 per cent.

Writing for the BGC website, Serve Legal’s Jenni Garratt said: “The reason for this success is straightforward. By constantly testing, and then re-testing those who fail, it means staff in betting shops are always focused on this vital part of their work, and are stopping under-18s from gambling before they have even crossed the threshold.”

Game design improved to boost player safety

A new code of conduct for the design of online games will help to improve player safety and tackle problem gambling.

Among the measures are the slowing down of spin speeds, banning several gaming features and improving access to safer gambling information.

It meant that from the start of October, game cycle speeds must be a minimum of 2.5 seconds, turbo play – which allowed players to speed up games – was ended, and multi-play, where a player could place multiple stakes on different games at the same, was scrapped.

Michael Dugher said: “The new Game Design Code of Conduct is yet another example of our determination to address concerns head on and meet our safer gambling commitments.

Tough new rules on VIP schemes

Tough new rules have been put in place to address concerns over the use of VIP schemes by betting operators.

At the request of the Gambling Commission, the BGC drew up a strict new code of conduct tightening the rules on how the schemes are operated.

Under the changes, customers must be subjected to rigorous checks before being signed up for the schemes, while their betting behaviour must be closely monitored on an ongoing basis. The programmes must also be overseen by senior managers and run in a fully transparent way.

Access to the schemes by under-25s will be restricted, and operators are banned from incentivising customers based on losses.

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