Legal & Regulatory News

Leading gaming machine suppliers Inspired Gaming and SG Gaming have called for the mandatory enforcement of responsible gambling measures across all categories of the UK gaming market including land-based and online products.

It follows the launch of the first phase of the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) Code of responsible gambling measures on Category B2/B3 machines.

Inspired Gaming chief executive Luke Alvarez said the measures need to be developed and implemented across all land-based and online products in the UK market.

While Alvarez welcomed the introduction of the responsible gaming protections for machine gaming, he warned that people vulnerable to addiction would still be at risk with other venues, products and channels.

“[We] urge the Government and Regulator to work with stakeholders on how it can develop the concepts and learnings from the ABB Code for Responsible Gambling and Player Protection across all UK land-based and online products,” he said.

He described the introduction of the Code as “a positive first step” in developing Inspired’s roadmap to better protect the UK’s problem gamblers, comprising 0.5 per cent of total players, and minimise risk for all gamblers.

SG Gaming chairman Steve Frater supported Alvarez’ calls, saying that while his company was committed to providing an enjoyable leisure experience for machine players and had been able to introduce new protection measures in under five months, he saw it as the first step in developing “world leading player protection software through continuing research and development.”

Inspired and SG Gaming both supply its products for some of the ABB’s leading members including William Hill, Paddy Power, Ladbrokes, and Gala Coral Group. The four off-course bookmakers are responsible for 80 per cent of the UK’s retail gambling market, with over 100 independent bookmakers also members of the association.

The Code for Responsible Gambling and Player Protection was introduced last week on March 1st, and introduces a number of measures designed to ensure players gambling on fixed-odds betting terminals are properly protected from developing problem behaviour.

It introduces enforced breaks for customers playing on machines, with automatic on-screen alerts about money and time spent on the devices, while players can also set customisable time or spending limits.

Staff are notified via each shop’s cashier system when customers reach their limits, allowing them to intervene to stop people overspending or playing for longer than intended, and will also be given responsible gambling training.

The ABB claims the measures have been described by academic experts as “world-leading harm minimisation measures.”