Bacta President James Miller and Trevor Sutton, Chairman of bacta Division One, contributed to an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) discussion on Children and Gambling last Thursday.
The session was Chaired by Carolyn Harris MP and she was joined by Prof Samantha Thomas – Professor, Public Health, Deakin University, Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones – Neuroscience Researcher working as Consultant Psychiatrist in Addictions, Dr Philip Newall – Postdoctoral Researcher, Experimental Gambling Research Laboratory, CQ University, Lord Foster of Bath and Ronnie Cowan MP, among others.
James Miller told the group, “The majority of bacta members that operate FECs at the seaside are small independent second and third-generation family business that provide a wide range of entertainment around the country. Social responsibility is in their DNA.
“As providers of entertainment to 20m people annually it’s important we provide what our customers want. We have listened carefully to the debate about children and gambling and we want to ensure we do everything we can to augment our existing safeguarding measures. Evidence suggests that any risk of gambling related harm from seaside arcades is small, but we want to go as far as we can to reduce that even further.
“In 2019, bacta members agreed to include as a condition of membership a new rule that prevents young people under the age of 16 playing on Category D cash payout fruit machines unless accompanied by an adult. In addition, and as part of our continued commitment to this initiative, members also agreed to amend this to no U18s in the future as and when the minimum age for National Lottery draw goes to 18.”
Bacta represents the owners and operators of seaside amusement arcades, over-18 amusement centres, and the companies that hire machines to pubs, clubs, bowling alleys, bingo halls and similar venues. It also represents the manufacturers and distributors of all types of amusement equipment. This can range from children’s rides, to jukeboxes, fruit machines in pubs and clubs, crane grabbers, penny falls, tuppeny nudgers, test your strength machines, videos, pool tables and gaming machines