Bacta trials new measures on ‘category D’ fruit machines

John White – Bacta

Bacta the UK trade association for amusement/arcade sector stakeholders has moved to update its ‘code of- conduct’ and further trial new safety measures on ‘category D’ machines.

The directive follows the conclusion of Bacta’s ‘general meeting’ on 9 July, in which associate members discussed new provisions to be sanctioned on category D fruit machines.

Bacta members have agreed to evaluate a change to the trade association’s code of conduct which would tell customers that players on low stake cash payout fruit machines must be aged 16 or over unless accompanied by an adult.

Updating the market, Bacta CEO, John White, said: “As providers of family entertainment to nearly 20 million people annually, it is important we reflect what our customers want.  We have listened carefully to the debate about children and gambling and we want to ensure we do everything we can to augment our existing safeguarding measures. Evidence suggests that any risk of gambling-related harm from seaside arcades is tiny, but we want to go as far as we can to reduce this even further. This initiative does just that and will reassure everyone that our seaside arcades will continue to be safe and enjoyable places for generations of families and friends to spend their leisure time.”

Carolyn Harris – MP Swansea East

The provisions were unanimously endorsed by the meeting of Bacta’s seaside operators and follows widespread dialogue and guidance conducted with the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and the government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in addition to further sector stakeholders.

Backing Bacta’s directives, Carolyn Harris Swansea East MP and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling Related Harm commented: “I very much welcome this move by bacta members. Everyone loves going to the seaside and spending time in the arcades. They are a vital part of the UK’s economy, culture and heritage. We must make sure, however, that any risks to children are minimised and I am pleased to see this is a message that bacta has heard loud and clear.”

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