A question we’ve been asked recently is, “can I take my child into a bookmakers?”
It’s easy to see why people can be confused on this. After all, it’s legal for children to enter a pub as long as they’re accompanied by an adult, but they can’t go in on their own.
However, the answer is no. Children under the age of 18 are not allowed in a betting shop under any circumstances.
Today we’re going to explain why that is, and we’ll also suggest a much better alternative which means you don’t need to take your kids anywhere near a bookies.
But first, let’s look at the legal aspect
The Gambling Act 2005 brought in new controls on children and young people playing fruit machines, which includes Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs). The law states that children must be 18 to go into a betting shop.
There are various resources available online which provide more information and a full explanation of the Gambling Act, the reasons behind it and its implications.
Those documents are quite lengthy and sometimes hard to read, but they do provide all the legal information for anybody who is interested. For most of us, it’s enough to know that children cannot go into a betting shop or casino even if you’re with them. This includes babies.
Bookmakers staff will ask you to leave if you have your children with you. They would be breaking the law and risking their license if they served you. Therefore we recommend you don’t ask, as refusal often offends.
Some parents choose to leave their children outside while they go into a bookmakers on their own. Now obviously we’re not here to tell anyone how to raise their kids, but it’s worth thinking about the implications if you’re considering doing this.
This post on Net Mums forum is a good example of why leaving your kids outside isn’t a good idea.
Yesterday evening i saw two children standing outside a betting shop. The girl was around seven and the boy was in a buggy and looked around 2. The little boy was really upset, and the girl asked me to go in the shop and ask her mummy and daddy to hurry up.
It’s easy to lose track of time if you’re inside a bookies or casino, so if you leave your children outside they could have been waiting much longer than you realise. Also consider that high street bookies do occasionally attract the sort of people who engage in antisocial behaviour, especially if they’ve lost. So it’s not a great environment for then to be waiting unsupervised.
For all of these reasons, it’s obvious that parents and betting shops don’t really mix. But that doesn’t men you can’t place a bet or play your favourite games. There is a much better and easier way.
Place your bets online or via your mobile instead.
We’ve reviewed and rates all the best online betting sites, so you can easily see which is the best one to join. And there are so many benefits that you wouldn’t get in high street bookies as well.
So our advice is don’t bother with the high street any more. Don’t even try to take your kids into a betting shop. Place your bets on your phone, then spend the rest of your time doing something the whole family will enjoy.