The Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association has called on the Government to close the ‘loophole' left open by the current Video Recordings Act ‘as soon as possible'.
It was revealed today that the 1984 Act is actually unenforceable, meaning retailers that are caught selling adult games or movies to children face no legal penalty.
The mistake was only spotted as the Government prepared to update the Act to include changes prescribed in the new PEGI video games classification.
It arose because the Home Office failed to notify the European Commission of the existence of the Act in 1984. The mistake was not spotted on two subsequent occasions, in 1993 and 1994.
ELSPA director general Mike Rawlinson said:
The discovery that the Video Recordings Act is not enforceable is obviously very surprising. In the interest of child safety it is essential that this loophole is closed as soon as possible.
"In this respect the videogames industry will do all it can to support and assist the government to that effect. ELSPA will therefore advise our members to continue to forward games to be rated as per the current agreement while the legal issues are being resolved.”