Bacta welcomes the House of Lords Report as a sober and constructive contribution to the debate on the future of gambling.
Low stake low prize amusement machines have been a feature of Britain’s leisure scene for many decades, enjoyed by millions whether in High Street venues, pubs and seaside arcades. Our customers tell us that we provide fun. That’s the way it should be, and as evidence, knowledge and public opinion has shifted over the years, we have changed so as to keep it that way.
The Lords Report has moved the dial once again and we would broadly support its recommendations. In particular:
We support a Triennal Review of stakes and prizes. This allows the industry, regulator and Government to consider alongside other stakeholders, the right maximum price for games in our venues which do need to be rebalanced from time to time in order to reflect changing consumer behaviours and the simple commerciality of business.
We support the concept of an ombudsman. This would give reassurance to consumers.
We would not oppose a mandatory levy if that was deemed necessary and if voluntary systems did not provide the necessary and fair funding for research. However, as the Lords Report said: it must be ‘smart’. That is to say the more harder gambling products should bear a greater proportion of the funding.
Bacta is however concerned about proposals for an approval process for machine games. We cannot see how this is practical or helpful in the collective ambition to make gambling safer. We currently have comprehensive rules about what can and can’t be done and bacta has recently begun a review process to identify if any further changes are needed to make land-based gaming machines safer.
Embargoed-Gambling-Harm-report-July-2020.pdf (44 downloads)