Thursday, June 20, 2024

Gambling minister Andrews unveils UK land-based proposals

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UK gambling minister Stuart Andrews has issued a statement setting out the proposals for machine operating following a consultation as part of the white paper.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is seekibng a ratio of two-to-one for Category B machines against Categories C and D, replacing the current situation whch sees a ratio of 20/80.

At the same time, the DCMS will prohibit under-18s from playing some Category D machines, specifically those that replicate adult slots.

On the subject of cashless gaming, Andrews said in a House of Commons statement that his department will approve the use of debit cards – but not credit cards – to initiate play on machines. The Gambling Commission will now undertake a consultation on the way in which this can be introduced and at the same time ensure that protection is in place for players.

There is to be an increase in local authority fees of 15 per cent, he added. The process of implementing the reforms will require the imposition of statutory instruments in parliament, and these will be tabled before the House of Commons soon.

The DCMS will make more announcements on reforms in due course, including the proposed statutory levy and the establishing of a Gambling Ombudsman.

An immediate response to the statement was made today by Bacta president John Bollom, who said: “This is a good day. The minister is to be congratulated for creating the conditions which will allow the land-based sector to go forward.

“The progress achieved is a testament to the hard work of Bacta and our members in making the case for reform. I would like to thank all the Bacta members who have helped in this campaign which has taken four years.

“We hope that parliament will give a smooth passage to these proposals, so they are passed into law before the general election. Bacta will actively engage with Gambling Commission officials to ensure the introduction of cashless play in 2025.”

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