Goodwood underage gambing operation finds 65% of bets illegal

Racing at Goodwood
Racing at Goodwood

Thirteen out of 20 illegal bets were accepted when an underage gambling operation was carried out at a Goodwood race meeting.

A statement from Chichester District Council said test purchases took place at the end of July and were led by its licensing team, in partnership with representatives of Goodwood Racecourse, the Gambling Commission and Sussex Police.

A total of 20 test purchases were made by authorised police cadets, who were all aged under 18, the council said.

Thirteen illegal bets were accepted without challenge and seven were refused.

The results mean that 65 per cent of the bets placed were illegal.

The operation followed a similar format to others which have taken place at racecourses across England and Wales, which have all had the full support of the Gambling Commission and racecourse operators.

The council said the results highlighted the need for bookmakers to be more vigilant in preventing minors placing illegal bets.

Councillor Roger Barrow, cabinet member for environment. said: “We have a legal responsibility to protect children and young people from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

“Test purchase operations like these allow us to measure the levels of compliance.

“They highlight where any work needs to be undertaken with operators to raise awareness of the law.

“The results are now being carefully considered and the appropriate follow up action will be taken with each bookmaker who failed a test.

“Proactive discussions will be held with Goodwood to see if there is any further work they can do to help prevent licensed bookmakers operating on their premises accepting bets from those who are underage.“

Sarah Bullen, operations manager at Goodwood Racecourse, said about the exercise: “Goodwood fully supports this initiative and we continue to work to ensure the proper controls on gambling are in place at the course.

“We will always work with the authorities in the best interests of young people who attend our events.”

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