The governmental review of gaming machines stakes and prizes has officially been published today, which analysts suggest could lead to the biggest shake-up of the gambling industry since the 2005 Gambling Act.
The UK government has today announced that the Triennial Review – the only legal process whereby the all-important stakes and prizes on gaming machines can be modified – will now begin in earnest, and is calling on all parties to submit evidence before 4 December.
This Monday afternoon, the Department for Culture Media and Sport said in statement that it will be reviewing evidence across all types of gaming machines, “looking at whether the stake and prize limits set out in legislation and the rules on where these machines can be played are right.” This call for evidence will close on 4 December 2016, following which the government will consider proposals.
“In launching this review I am seeking to ensure that we have the right balance between a sector that can grow and contribute to the economy, and one that is socially responsible and doing all it can to protect consumers and communities, including those who are just about managing,” DCMS under-secretary Tracey Crouch said in a statement.
“This will include a close look at the issue of sub-category B2 gaming machines (more commonly known as Fixed Odds Betting Terminals – FOBTs) and specific concerns about the harm they cause, be that to the players themselves or the local communities in which they are located.”
Crouch added that she welcomes submissions from all stakeholders from all sectors of the gaming industry, as well as those independent bodies involved in the effectiveness of social responsibility measures.
Sarah Harrison, Gambling Commission chief executive, welcomed the review and urged all relevant parties to take part, adding that the Commission would be submitting its own advice to the government.
“We’re very pleased that the review has been announced and that we have a clear timetable – it offers an excellent opportunity for all those with an interest in gambling to ensure their voices are heard. I would encourage any interested parties to share their views with government,” Harrison commented.
“As the regulator of gambling in Britain and committed to keeping gambling fair, safe and crime-free, we will be submitting our advice to Government in line with our statutory duties. Our advice, which will be informed by our expert advisors the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board, will be made public after it is submitted. Obviously it would be inappropriate to offer a running commentary as the review progresses.”
There is currently no timetable regarding the results of the review, but further indication will be given once all the evidence has been submitted.