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Parent Zone’s 2018 Skin Gambling Report: an update

Parent Zone’s Skin Gambling report has been raised in Parliament, with a written question directed to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The question was posed by Sarah Champion, MP for Rotherham, in response to our report, Skin gambling: teenage Britain’s secret habit, which was published on 28 June 2018.

Following the release of the report, The Telegraph published a front page article revealing Parent Zone’s findings, highlighting the extent of under-aged gambling through online gaming.

Parent Zone’s report revealed that 1 in 10 UK children aged 13-18 is betting online in casino and bookmaker-style sites. Skin gambling is where gamers can bet with virtual items called ‘skins’. Skins originate in video games but can be traded on different platforms for other skins, money and ‘gambling chips’. Unlike most regulated online gambling sites, a complex ecosystem of skins gambling and cashing in sites do not enforce rigorous age verification processes.

Sarah Champion’s question asks whether the Secretary of State has assessed, ‘the potential merits of the conclusions of our report and what discussions he has had with the Gambling Commission on underage skin gambling’. You can read a response from the DCMS here.

Parent Zone have also reached out to the Gambling Commission directly, to request more information about the number of skin gambling websites and licenses. We are expecting a response over summer.

As part of our investigation into skin gambling culture among 13-18 year-olds in the UK,  we commissioned an Ipsos MORI survey of 1,000 UK children in this age range. The survey discovered that over 1 in 4 UK children aged 13-18 have heard of skin gambling, and believe it is a “big” or “fairly big” problem. In addition, 46% said they are able to access 18+ websites if they want.