Machines in the spotlight

Posted on January 20, 2011 by admin
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We recently issued a press release regarding a recent announcement made by the UK Gambling Commission that it will develop research into problem gambling and put gaming machines in the spotlight. See our release below…

Industry expert welcomes UK Gambling Commission announcement that puts machines in the spotlight

Gambling industry expert, inventor of Three Card Poker, and the manager of Prime Table Games, Derek Webb has welcomed the UK Gambling Commission’s recent announcement that it will develop research into problem gambling and put gaming machines in the spotlight. 

The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB), the division of the UK Gambling Commission which deals with social responsibility, will be carrying out research to guide its strategy into tackling gambling-related harm.

The three-pronged research project will investigate the potential relationship between structural features of terrestrial machines operating in the UK and consumer behaviour.  It will also assess the extent and effectiveness of consumer pre-commitment and self-exclusion strategies in relation to machine use, whilst mapping the clustering of machine locations, numbers and categories, and overlaying socio-economic area profiling.

Mr Webb said: “It is about time a serious piece of research is conducted to uncover the disgraceful exploitative tactics used by gaming machines operators to extract maximum profits with little regard for consumer wellbeing.

“The new trend of high speed gambling using casino table game content such as roulette on betting machines is alarming. It is encouraging gambling addiction and contributing significantly to rising levels of personal debt.

“The regulations currently allow betting shops to have a maximum of four betting machines per location. These machines provide betting shops with around half of their gross revenue so it doesn’t take much to surmise that the bookmakers are simply maximising profits by opening more shops to have more machines.  The research will uncover this and the resulting clustering effect it is having particularly in poorer socio-economic areas of the country.

“Until now, this problem has largely been ignored by the Government, as it has been more concerned with keeping gambling businesses happy than with avoiding the potentially devastating social implications it could have on players.”

A spokesperson from the RGSB said: “RGSB has overseen the development of a programme of research into the impact of gaming machines on players.”