Young people 'will use VPNs' to beat porn block, gambling age ban

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New rules about age verification within the gambling industry in the UK won’t deter the most determined young people from accessing online gaming services and pornographic content, experts have said - despite being a welcome step in the right direction.

The UK Porn Block will come into place on July 15th, and will see the compulsory enrollment and age verification by adult websites that have a footprint in the UK.

The new licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) requires remote operators to verify a customer’s age before they can deposit funds into an account, and before they can gamble with their own money or a free bet or bonus.

UK customers will also be required to prove they are over 18 before they can access free-to-play versions games on gambling websites.

“This new regulation is about making the internet safer and helping to prevent children from accidentally accessing adult content," according to Robin Tombs, CEO and co-founder of Digital Identity system, Yoti.

VPN to the rescue

And one tool young people are likely to use to circumvent the age verification process will be a VPN

"Unfortunately it will be difficult to stop the most determined young person who may try and use a VPN to access online gambling services [and age restricted content or services], but this regulation is a step in the right direction to help safeguard minors.” 

A VPN will allow users to access restricted content - from outside the UK in this case - and prevents internet service providers from seeing the final destination website that the user accesses.

There’s a number of free VPN on the market and at least one major browser, Opera, has integrated it into its product. Furthermore, many antivirus vendors, like Bitdefender or Norton, offer it as a free feature in their security suite as the traditional remit of such products now expand to privacy and anonymity.