Grand Pier backs industry Cat D trial

Grand Pier Cat D machine ban U16's
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With Bacta members recently approving a trial ban on under-16s Category D use, Weston’s Grand Pier has become one of the first operators to initiate the protection policy, aiming to keep the attraction a “safe, fun-filled environment.”


Weston-super-Mare’s Grand Pier has become one of the first major UK amusement operators to trial a voluntary Bacta-led scheme prohibiting unaccompanied under-16s from using Cat D machines.

The strategy, approved during the trade association’s recent London EGM, will run until September, before being added to the industry’s Code of Conduct should it prove effective.

“This trial is voluntary, but we had no hesitation in asking for a supply of stickers so that we could implement the new rules and support this initiative,” said GM Tim Moyle. “It is vitally important that any risks to children are minimised as much as possible.”

“We take our social responsibility extremely seriously and are committed to doing everything we can to ensure that the Grand Pier is a safe, funfilled environment for the whole family to enjoy.”

The trial follows consultation between Bacta, the Gambling Commission and MPs, over concerns about a perceived, although unvalidated, rise in teenage gambling addiction.

“As providers of family entertainment to nearly 20 million people annually, it is important we reflect what our customers want,” said Bacta CEO John White at the EGM.

“We have listened carefully to the (ongoing) debate about children and gambling and we want to ensure we do everything we can to augment our existing safeguarding measures.”

A statement from the Grand Pier noted its 45 Cat D machines are clustered together in one section of the Pavilion, stating “staff will supervise this area to ensure that customers comply with the trial.”

Advisory stickers have also been placed on all the relevant machines in the attraction’s arcade, informing all customers of the new regulations.

Questions regarding addictive gambling technologies have recently formed a core part of government involvement in gaming, with an ongoing parliamentary committee taking video game operators to task over loot boxes.

Though retail arcade staff have the benefit of eyes-on-customer, Bacta’s decision reflects the intention of members to not just demonstrate compliance, but actively protect the customers that keep the industry going.

“Research suggests that any risk of gambling-related harm from seaside arcades is very low, but we support Bacta’s desire to reduce this even further,” added Moyle.



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