No surprises for land-based sector in Culture Media and Sport Committee report but timetable remains a concern

Bacta has broadly welcomed the report on gambling regulation from the Culture Media and Sport Committee which was published on Thursday 21st December.

Reviewing the report Bacta National President John Bollom said: “The CMS Committee which is chaired by Dame Caroline Dinenage MP scrutinises the spending, policies and administration of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and is regarded as being an influential voice within government.

“Although most of the report focusses on the online sector and gambling’s sponsorship of sport there are some largely positive references to land-based gambling entertainment. For example, the Report is very supportive of the introduction of modern payment methods on gaming machines and part of its main recommendation is that players who prefer to use cash “should continue to be able to do so on all machines following any introduction of cashless payments.”

“On replacing the current 80/20 rule with a 50/50 machine ratio the Report is less enthusiastic but does not oppose it providing 50/50 does not result in an increase in gambling related harms.”

Bollom added: “The Report has come out in favour of an online stake of £5 which I believe sits comfortably with our case for higher machine stakes and prizes in land-based venues where machine play is an entertainment experience.”

“The Culture Media and Sport Committee has noted its surprise that gambling reform was not included in the Kings Speech and has requested a detailed timetable for its implementation and inclusion onto the statue books. There’s some anxiety about there being a lack of time to fulfil what was included in the last Conservative Party manifesto.

“However, on the whole I believe this will give the Government the confidence to press on with the reforms that they proposed.”