Bacta: DCMS’ gaming machine strategy ‘a positive step’

Slot machine

Bacta’s President to the UK, John Bollom, has considered the DCMS’ strategy for gaming machine allowances in adult gaming centres to be “a positive step”. 

The President suggested that the UK government’s Supplementary Consultation will provide an “optimum mix” of gaming entertainment to keep the adult gaming centre industry strong and competitive. 

The DCMS consultation relates to B3 machines, which use a maximum stake of £2, a minimum game cycle of 2.5 seconds and a maximum payout of £500. 

It proposes that all adult gaming centres must contain a 3/1 ratio of B3 games to Category C/D machines in the same establishment, which each offer lower stakes and prizes.

Bollom stated: “In terms of the detail I should stress that this represents a maximum figure: if operators wanted fewer B3s they of course retain that option.

“Overall the publication of the supplementary consultation on machine numbers must be considered as a positive step. In particular we welcome the conclusion that action should be taken to support the AGC sector which is still experiencing significant commercial challenges following COVID and the spike in energy and other costs.

“We endorse the conclusion that liberalisation is required in order to support recovery, to ensure that regulation is fit for the future and that operators have the freedom to meet customer needs and in the process stimulate innovation, investment and growth.”

“I also welcome the contributions made by bacta’s Gaming Council. When we embarked on the restructure process and presented the proposals for a streamlined Bacta to members, an important part of the rationale for change was to create a more agile and dynamic organisation capable of responding to scenarios such as this.

“The expert insight provided by the Gaming Council led by Peter Davies enabled us to provide DCMS with the detail and the analysis required to inform progressive regulation. Having the ability to respond swiftly and with authority represents a major positive and will underpin our engagement with government and our regulators.”

Just last month, Bacta commenced conversations with the DCMS to tackle a review into gaming machines in the UK, writing to the department’s Secretary of State Lucy Frazer to look into the stake limits and prize restrictions for Category C, B3, B3A and B4. 

Bollom commented: “Bacta is mindful of the importance of prioritising the White Paper consultations and for reforms to be delivered during this Parliament, but we must also keep stake and prize levels and the mechanism to determine them firmly on the agenda.”