The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has responded to the government’s consultation on gaming machines and social responsibility proposals, and has called on protection for Category C amusement with prize (AWP) machines, so that they continue to form a vital revenue stream for Britain’s pubs.
In a detailed response, the BBPA calls for the government to allow a modest rise in stakes and prizes for these machines. It is also calling for an urgent consultation on the Category C technical standards to ensure the pub amusement machine can survive into the future.
The BBPA argues that its outlined suggestions will keep pub amusement machines attractive without impacting on social responsibility or problem gambling. It was also claimed that the recent research does not identify AWP machines in respect of problem gambling.
Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the BBPA, said: “The amusement machine offer in pubs needs to be able to develop to meet the expectations of the consumer and form part of a low stake, low prize entertainment offer in a pub. Our proposals to increase both stake and prize should help keep pub amusement machines competitive.
“Any gaming machine use in pubs is overseen by the licensee/manager and their team, and pubs represent, much as they do for drinking, a socially responsible environment. The BBPA already has a long-established code of practice to ensure machines are operated responsibly.
“Operating costs for pubs are under pressure from high beer duty, business rates, the apprenticeship levy, and mandatory auto-enrolment pensions for employees. Income from amusement machines can be vitally important in keeping many pubs viable, and an increase in prize for Category C machines will enable pubs to invest in the business and keep an important social resource viable.”