BGC lauds industry for ‘driving higher standards’ with new safer gaming code

The UK’s three gaming sector trade associations have announced a new ‘Safer Game Design Code’ for land-based gaming machines. 

Members of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), amusements representative Bacta and the Bingo Association have collaborated during the COVID-19 pandemic to design the code that will address risks in game design features.

The cross sector initiative will ensure machines no longer celebrate wins of less than the stake with visual or auditory displays. 

BGC Executive Director Wes Himes said: “We welcome this Code as another example of industry driving higher standards to address the issues of risk and we will continue to introduce further measures based on evidence in our fight to prevent harm.”

Development of the Code came about as a result of the UK Gambling Commission’s (UKGC) call for the industry to take greater action against risky designs.

Publication of the new measures follows the implementation of the BGC’s Game Design Code for the online gambling sector last year that ended auto-play functionalities and limited further in-game functions.  

The code was composed with manufacturers and operators meeting during the pandemic, with Reflex Gaming Chief Product Officer Mat Ingran taking on Chairmanship responsibilities. 

The group assessed common gaming machine features against current research and standards, as well as the views of people with lived experience of gambling-related harm. 

It is a significant achievement for the whole industry to reach agreement on such a broad topic,” added Bacta CEO John White

“Nevertheless, the challenge was one that had to be met and we now have a Code which again demonstrates industry’s commitment to socially responsible recreational gaming.

“It adds to a long list of industry initiatives that have played their part in reducing problem gambling rates to the historically low level of 0.2% of the population.”

Safer and responsible gambling has become a key focus of the UK betting and gaming industry in recent years, particularly with the Gambling Act review outcome expected later this year.

Notably, the BGC has pointed to the efforts of and measurements implemented by its members in driving down the problem gambling rate to 0.2%, whilst Bacta has incorporated YGAM and Betknowmore UK programmes into its bactaPportal responsible gaming platform

Supporting the new code, Miles Baron, Bingo Association CEO, said: “The Bingo Association is pleased to support this code in partnership with bacta and the BGC demonstrating the ability of the land based sector to come together when required to strengthen safer gambling protocols.”

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