Gambling operators in Ingoldmells and Chapel St Leonards pass test purchases after improvements

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Gambling establishments in Ingoldmells and Chapel St Leonards have shown a dramatic improvement in obeying age laws after a series of test purchases were conducted recently.

Initially only two of the six premises visited by the district council prevented the 15 and 16-year-old youngsters involved in the purchases from accessing age-restricted areas and playing the machines.

But a follow-up visit found 100 per cent compliance with the laws.

And the district council is “pleased” with the “good compliance” shown after the initial concerns were raised.

The Leader of the Council, Doreen Stephenson, who also has responsibility for Licencing, said: “I am pleased that the re-test saw a 100 per cent pass rate and better compliance with the law.

“It goes to show that while the council is robust in the pro-active stance it takes with regards to coastal gambling establishments, it is also fair.

“This is not about catching people out, it is about identifying a lack of knowledge and educating gambling operators so that they know exactly what they need to do and how to do it.

“We will continue to work with all of our licenced gambling operators and look forward to seeing similarly positive results in the future.

“Our coastal resorts are popular with families and people of all ages and we remain committed to ensuring that they are a safe environment for young people to visit.”

All licensees are required to put into effect policies and procedures designed to prevent underage gambling, and monitor the effectiveness of these.

The test purchasing operations, which were conducted in co-operation with the Gambling Commission, check that there is compliance with the law and assess the ability of licensees to identify and prevent underage gambling.

Further test purchasing operations will take place in the future.