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3 Protection of children and other vulnerable persons

3.2.6 - Bingo and FEC ordinary code

Applies to:

All non-remote bingo and family entertainment centre licences.

Ordinary code

These do not have the status of operator licence conditions but set out good practice. Operators may adopt alternative approaches to those set out in ordinary code provisions if they have actively taken account of the ordinary code provision and can demonstrate that an alternative approach is reasonable in the operator's particular circumstances; or that to take an alternative approach would be acting in a similarly effective manner. Ordinary codes of practice are admissible in evidence in criminal or civil proceedings and must be taken into account in any case in which the court or tribunal think them relevant, and by the Commission in the exercise of its functions; any departure from ordinary code provisions by an operator may be taken into account by the Commission on a licence review, but cannot lead to imposition of a financial penalty.

  1. The Commission considers acceptable forms of identification to include: any identification carrying the PASS logo (for example Citizencard or Validate); a military identification card; a driving licence (including a provisional licence) with photocard; or a passport.

  2. Licensees should require a person who appears to relevant staff to be under the age of 21 to be asked to produce proof of age, either at the point of entry to the gambling area or as soon as it comes to the attention of staff that they wish to access gambling facilities.

  3. Licensees should have procedures for dealing with cases where an adult knowingly or recklessly allows a child or young person to gamble. These procedures might include refusing to allow the adult to continue to gamble, removing them from the premises, and reporting the incident to the police or local authorities, or taking action where forged identification is produced.

  4. Procedures should be put into effect for dealing with cases where a child or young person repeatedly attempts to gamble on their premises, including oral warnings, reporting the offence to the Gambling Commission1 and the police, and making available information on problem gambling to the child or young person concerned.

  5. Where it is likely that customers’ young or otherwise vulnerable children will be left unattended on or adjacent to their premises, licensees should consider reminding customers of their parental responsibilities and assess whether there is a need to develop procedures for minimising the risk to such children.

  6. Licensees in fee categories A or B should consider how they monitor the effectiveness of their policies and procedures for preventing underage gambling (for example by taking part in a collective test purchasing programme) and should be able to explain to the Commission or licensing authority what approach they have adopted.

  7. In providing training to staff on their responsibilities for preventing underage gambling, licensees should have, as a minimum, policies for induction training and refresher training.

Read additional guidance on the information requirements contained within this section.


1 These matters are to be reported to us online via our ‘eServices’ digital service on our website.

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