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Watchdog consults on where gaming machines can be played

The Gambling Commission has launched a consultation on where category B gaming machines can be played.

The watchdog, which views the area as a policy priority, 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.”

The Commission said it had accordingly we developed proposals for a revised regulatory framework with the aim of achieving the following policy objectives:

  • with very few low-risk exceptions, gambling should be confined to dedicated gambling premises ie casino, betting or bingo premises;
  • distinctions between different types of licensed gambling premises are maintained;
  • gambling activities are supervised appropriately;
  • 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 Gambling Commission said: “We consider the above three strands taken together identify the key characteristics of the environment(s) in which category B gaming machines should be made available.

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“We have accordingly prepared a collection of regulatory proposals aimed at ensuring the above objectives are embedded consistently across the gambling industry. 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.”

The consultation, Controlling where gaming machines may be played, can be viewed here.

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