SBC News GamCare calls on rethink of softer gambling machine rules 

GamCare calls on rethink of softer gambling machine rules 

GamCare has urged the government to reconsider its proposed policy on changes related to Electronic Gambling Machines (EGMs) within land-based gambling venues.

The treatment support charity indicates that its ‘lived experience community’ is concerned that relaxing EGM regulations might allow the public to engage with high-risk games in land-based venues, increasing the potential of harm.

As outlined in the Gambling Review’s White Paper, the government intends to relax rules for casinos. Larger properties will be allowed to expand GM suites to 80 machines, while smaller casinos can operate up to 20.

Additionally, the government is considering revising the current ‘80/20 ratio’ rule governing high to low stake gaming machines. This change would help venues better cater to customer demands and reduce energy costs.

While GamCare endorses changes that would mandate age-ID verification for customers using the machines and require them to set time and monetary limits, the charity emphasises the inherent risks of EGMs in venues. They’re described “as addictive and present an increased risk of rapidly losing significant sums of money.”

This cautionary stance is backed by Gambling Commission statistics, which show that “in 2022, EGMs generated £1.8bn in Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) for the UK gambling industry and were played by 7% of the entire gambling population.”

Heeding advice from its lived experience community, GamCare advocates for consistent safety measures across all land-based gambling venues, including casinos, arcades, and bingo halls.

In response to the government’s consultation on EGM rules, GamCare has expressed concerns about the increased availability of high-stake machines to the public. The charity points out that gambling harms might escalate due to local governments’ existing limited resources to oversee gambling premises.

Changes to land-based gambling rules should advocate for stronger player protections. These include monetary limits, safer gambling messaging, and card verification for cashless transactions. The risks associated with early exposure to certain slot machines for young individuals should also be highlighted.

In conclusion, GamCare stated: “As the government contemplates the next steps, we will persist in advocating for more robust and consistent player protections in both the land-based and broader sectors.”

SBC News GamCare calls on rethink of softer gambling machine rules 

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