The findings presented in the DCMS’ Consultation on proposals for changes to Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures came as a blow to the campaign for contactless payments on gaming machines.
The report acknowledged that “respondents from across all sectors, with the exception of bookmakers, submitted proposals for the introduction of contactless payments” reflecting wider spending trends and the increase in such payments on the high street.
Despite this, it stated that, in the Government’s view, “the use of credit or debit cards as a direct form of payment to gaming machines would be a backward step in the protection of vulnerable players” arguing that using cash instead of cards allows “players more control over their play”.
These conclusions are likely to be given short shrift in the industry, with stakeholders long contending that contactless card payments would offer controls which are impossible to achieve with cash.
In the same vein, limits on transaction values and a requirement that players only be allowed to use a debit card could have been implemented to address social responsibility concerns.
“As an industry we are trapped behind the curve by regulation, it’s important that regulation keeps pace with technology and this is what the Gaming Act 2005 was supposed to be all about,” said Jason Frost, currently president of Euromat, speaking in October last year.
“We’ve put men on the moon so it’s not beyond the wit of man to come to some arrangement with government about how the sector could incorporate contactless payment in a socially responsible manner.”