Gambling Commission launches gaming machine consultation

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The UK Gambling Commission has opened a new consultation on the placement of gaming machines. The consultation ‘Controlling where gaming machines may be played’ is designed to ensure that category B machines are only made available in accordance with certain licensing objectives.

The Commission believes the current licence conditions, codes of practice and accompanying guidance to licensing authorities need to be revised in order to ensure the objectives are achieved.

The objectives include the aim that “with very few low-risk exceptions” gambling be confined to “dedicated gambling premises, i.e. casino, betting or bingo premises”.

The Commission also wants to ensure that distinctions between different types of licensed gambling premises are maintained and that gambling activities are supervised “appropriately”.

The final objective is that “within bingo, betting and casino premises, gaming machines must only be made available in combination with the non-remote gambling facilities named on the operating licence”.

The Commission has developed proposals for a revised regulatory framework with the aim of achieving the objectives.

The consultation proposes how the Commission feels it can embed the objectives “consistently across the industry whilst ensuring that regulation remains proportionate to the risks to the licensing objectives”.

The Commission said: “Having considered the outcome of regulatory casework, emerging business models and taken external legal advice we have concluded that ‘primary gambling activity’ as a concept is open to misunderstanding and is insufficiently robust to enable effective enforcement both legally and operationally.

“We are aware this has been a contentious area of policy in the past and are therefore seeking views from all interested parties on how best to achieve the above policy objectives.”

Category B includes the B2 machines found in casinos and betting shops which allow stakes of up to £100.

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