Gov consultation on gaming machines in pubs welcomed

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Opinions sought: trade bodies are backing a consultation on gambling (credit: Getty/SolStock)
Opinions sought: trade bodies are backing a consultation on gambling (credit: Getty/SolStock)

Related tags Legislation Finance Government Bbpa ukhospitality Social responsibility

Pub trade bodies UKHospitality (UKH) and the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) have welcomed a consultation by the Government that is seeking views on matters relating to gaming machines in pubs and other venues.

The measures on which views are sought include the use of debit card payments on machines and player protections to promote responsible gaming, all of which will help future-proof the gaming offer in pubs.

In a joint statement, UKH and the BBPA said: “This consultation is a welcome step towards a much-needed review of issues that could protect the longevity of safe and enjoyable gaming in pubs.”

One voice

The statement continued: “UKH and BBPA work closely on gaming issues and our joint group will feed in via the associations, no doubt with one voice and unanimity.”

The Government’s gambling white paper consultations has been launched to look at a variety of gambling issues with one of these being Measures relating to the land-based gambling sector​.

The Gambling Act Review white paper published in April 2023​ set out the Government’s plans for modernising the regulation of gambling in Great Britain.

Outdated restrictions

This included a number of measures to adjust outdated regulatory restrictions applying to the land-based gambling sector. Restrictions on supply were originally viewed as an important protection in the 2005 Act, but in the light of the availability of remote gambling the characteristics of products and quality of monitoring have assumed greater importance.

The proposals the Government is seeking views on include:

  • Cashless payments on gaming machines: helping future-proof the industry by consulting on the player protections needed to remove the prohibition on the direct use of debit cards on gaming machines.
  • Relaxation of casino rules: allowing large casinos to increase the number of their gaming machines to 80, allowing smaller casinos more than 20 machines, on a pro rata basis commensurate to their size and permitting betting in all casinos.
  • Machines in arcades and bingo halls: changing the 80/20 ratio governing higher to lower stake gaming machines to enable venues to better meet customer demands and save on energy costs.
  • Introduction of a legal age limit of 18 for certain gaming machines: protecting children and young people by banning anyone under the age of 18 from playing low stake Category D slot machines that pay out cash.
  • Licensing authority fees: ensuring that licensing authorities have the funding they need to carry out their licensing and enforcement duties for premises licences.

The consultation will be open for 10 weeks, closing at 11.55pm on 4 October 2023.

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