The introduction of a 50/50 machine ratio which is one of the key proposals contained in the Government’s White Paper on Gambling Reform, would result in an overall reduction in the number of machines sited in AGCs and Bingo Clubs and a concomitant reduction in demand for electricity – according to research conducted by bacta.
The findings, which are based on responses to a non-attributable survey sent to bacta members, indicate that a 50/50 machine ratio will result in an average 10 percent reduction in the number of Category C machines and a 20 percent fall-off in the numbers of Category D games, infills and tablets currently sited.
The reduction will be offset by a projected 9 percent increase in the number of B3s, a proportion which equates to some 900 machines in the AGC environment.
Bacta chief executive John White said that the research findings should assuage any fears that the 50/50 ratio will result in a proliferation of gaming machines on the high street. He stated: “Different businesses will behave in different ways in response to the needs of their customers. But what we are not seeing is the prospect of tablet arcades with the only machines on view being B3s.
“We believe that there will be further reductions in overall numbers as machines reach obsolescence and the lack of player demand means there’s no value in retaining them. A drop in machine numbers will result in reduced demand for electricity which is positive news for operators and for the environment.”
He added: “With the consultation process now underway it’s important to be able to attend events such as next week’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee armed with the empirical evidence provided by bacta members. As I’ve said on numerous occasions this is not about the ‘if’ but about ‘how’ the White Paper recommendations are implemented. Ensuring that the industry’s voice is listened to is fundamental to getting the best possible outcome for bacta members.”