Instilling gambling in the young… (UK)

Here's some vintage footage from the 1980s and 1990s in UK arcades, in which you can clearly see children gambling.


JPM Copper Run - what a cracking game that was back in the day ? One of my local arcades had one, with a Crack the Nut to the left of it and a PCP Blue Streak to the right. And those rows of Electrocoin Xenon cabinets you used to get, with all your favourite video-games in - Double Dragon, Pac-Land, Nemesis, Super Pang... fuck me, arcades were such intoxicating places to be back in the 80's weren't they?

Oh right, sorry - we're talking about kids getting addicted to gambling. Well, 2p-play fruit machines certainly were a gateway into gambling for me. Being introduced to the concept of risking money for the chance of more money at such an early age is just not good for you. As a result, I'll be gambling for the rest of my life in some way, shape or form because nothing else really gives me the same feeling as gambling does. In my childhood, teens and early twenties I suffered on multiple occasions through gambling, but despite that, I would still go back and do it all again. Some of those fruit machines back in the 80's and 90's were like crack-cocaine to me. Living by the seaside didn't help.

It's only through sheer willpower and by building up an understanding of gambling that I've been able to keep it well under control. I don't bet on anything unless I've researched it properly. These days it's all about getting maximum value and enjoyment out of gambling for as little expense as possible, just to scratch the itch. Luckily I don't smoke or use drugs, and I'm teetotal as well, so there's always been room for just the one vice in my life without it leaving me in the gutter.

The UK government was irresponsible back then for allowing kids easy access to gambling. They flippantly labelled it all as harmless fun, all part of a trip to the beach, and to most people it was - you could spend a few quid in the arcades as a treat and forget about it the next day. But for those susceptible few it would lead to huge problems. On the plus side it was a thriving industry back then, creating thousands of jobs and lots of revenue, and the small minority who suffered were merely collateral damage unfortunately.

It's easy to look back on it afterwards and say it was wrong, but at the time everyone was swept along by it, and didn't want to step outside of it for a few moments to see the damage it was doing. It was the same with smoking...

We're going to see the same sort of thing happen in the future with kids vaping, maybe beyond that children being able to use social media, and then who knows what after that...? We're living in that moment now but no-one really seems to give a fuck.

A bad industry that creates jobs and generates revenue is better than no industry at all...
 
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Just for clarity, it is the following type machines that cause the most concern for me. They look like slot machines and act like slot machines.
As others have mentioned - literally the same technology, and in some cases literally the same machine (but at a much worse percentage).

I remember passing by a seaside arcade a few years ago, and seeing machines that had been converted from 10p/£5 into 10p/500tickets. It sidesteps the "gambling" conversation (while doing nothing to solve it - the dopamine hit is the same albeit less frequent) and the arcade helps itself to another 30-40% of the pot (or more if they're lying about the value of the tickets).

The seaside arcades were how I got into gambling, but infrequent enough visits that it stopped developing into something more dangerous. If I lived near one, I dread to think what would have happened...
 
JPM Copper Run - what a cracking game that was back in the day ? One of my local arcades had one, with a Crack the Nut to the left of it and a PCP Blue Streak to the right. And those rows of Electrocoin Xenon cabinets you used to get, with all your favourite video-games in - Double Dragon, Pac-Land, Nemesis, Super Pang... fuck me, arcades were such intoxicating places to be back in the 80's weren't they?

Oh right, sorry - we're talking about kids getting addicted to gambling. Well, 2p-play fruit machines certainly were a gateway into gambling for me. Being introduced to the concept of risking money for the chance of more money at such an early age is just not good for you. As a result, I'll be gambling for the rest of my life in some way, shape or form because nothing else really gives me the same feeling as gambling does. In my childhood, teens and early twenties I suffered on multiple occasions through gambling, but despite that, I would still go back and do it all again. Some of those fruit machines back in the 80's and 90's were like crack-cocaine to me. Living by the seaside didn't help.

It's only through sheer willpower and by building up an understanding of gambling that I've been able to keep it well under control. I don't bet on anything unless I've researched it properly. These days it's all about getting maximum value and enjoyment out of gambling for as little expense as possible, just to scratch the itch. Luckily I don't smoke or use drugs, and I'm teetotal as well, so there's always been room for just the one vice in my life without it leaving me in the gutter.

The UK government was irresponsible back then for allowing kids easy access to gambling. They flippantly labelled it all as harmless fun, all part of a trip to the beach, and to most people it was - you could spend a few quid in the arcades as a treat and forget about it the next day. But for those susceptible few it would lead to huge problems. On the plus side it was a thriving industry back then, creating thousands of jobs and lots of revenue, and the small minority who suffered were merely collateral damage unfortunately.

It's easy to look back on it afterwards and say it was wrong, but at the time everyone was swept along by it, and didn't want to step outside of it for a few moments to see the damage it was doing. It was the same with smoking...

We're going to see the same sort of thing happen in the future with kids vaping, maybe beyond that children being able to use social media, and then who knows what after that...? We're living in that moment now but no-one really seems to give a fuck.

A bad industry that creates jobs and generates revenue is better than no industry at all...
Great games, I liked wonderboy and bubble bobble too among many others, I also became immediately addicted to fruit machines at a caravan park arcade around the age of 13, and it is a lifetime affliction I believe. I manage it the best I can, i haven't put a penny in a fruit machine in about 15 years but bet on sports mainly now, but i know ill still be doin it in some form or other til the day I die. I figure I've lost the price of a nice house over the last 30 years and a lot of other things besides money. It is what it is but I think society is learning about these things nowadays at least, albeit slowly.
 
I grew up in a seaside town so gambling from age 12 was seen as totally normal, 5p play £6 (tokens) jackpot.

these days the jackpots are higher so most machines are 18+ by law and 10p/5p £5 machines are still a thing which kids can play but there is hardy any left compared to the 18+ sections which now take up the majority of the floorspace in the arcades
 
From the latest issue of Coinslot, which is the industry mouthpiece magazine, alongside all the articles saying how the world would be a better place if everyone would just gamble more, there are advertisements for stuff like this.

1706447586716.png

When they say 'keeps players playing for longer', they mean, 'our games are deliberately designed to engender addictive behaviours in children'. Also note the obvious themes around popular online slots, Tomb Raider, and other recognisable gambling IPs, as well as game formats. In the case of Ticker Raider, literal slot machines with a top box community game.

Don't worry folks, it's all just a bit of fun!

1706447690877.png
 
From the latest issue of Coinslot, which is the industry mouthpiece magazine, alongside all the articles saying how the world would be a better place if everyone would just gamble more, there are advertisements for stuff like this.

View attachment 192919

When they say 'keeps players playing for longer', they mean, 'our games are deliberately designed to engender addictive behaviours in children'. Also note the obvious themes around popular online slots, Tomb Raider, and other recognisable gambling IPs, as well as game formats. In the case of Ticker Raider, literal slot machines with a top box community game.

Don't worry folks, it's all just a bit of fun!

View attachment 192920
How are they even legal? What a joke the UKGC is, they state that they are "protecting children and other vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling", yet these machines exist.
 
This is where the legislation hasn't really kept pace with the industry - much like "free prize draw" mechanics are exploited for million pound not-lotteries where they give a tiny fraction to charity and bank the rest for themselves.

Even if machines such as these were banned, they can move into skill-based variants (as numerous machines of this market have) which may then exempt from UKGC oversight entirely... or find other dated legislation that will remove the shackles (such as the free prize draw above). Much like the early days of £500 jackpots where some categories weren't formally restricted to that amount (e.g. the £675 jackpot 27-liner).

Remember the UKGC has tried to tackle these not-gambling categories before, and failed because they don't have oversight and/or didn't understand the product properly, so I can't see that changing any time soon.

As with most things, the market moves much faster than the regulators ever can... although now we're well into the phase of the fraudsters, chancers and others openly laughing at the regulator as nothing is happening to stop them.
 
If you were in any doubts about these toy-grabs and addictions for kids, here's your proof as Australian kid done his bollocks on $2.50 plays and loses, then gets so desperate he crawls inside to get them:

 
Bit of early brains on the grabbers, prepares you for what u can expect on the 10p play £5 golden games after I’ve left them wanting £80 for a feature!!

Puts hairs on ya chest from a young age.
 
Yeah there were loads of £5 'kiddy' games that could be properly hammered due to their compensated nature, and the fact the UK fruit machine 'industry' never managed to code the things properly. I've made videos about £5 jackpot machines (which would have been accessible to children up until not that long ago) that you can leave blocking at £2 for the better part of £50-60 of losses once they've been stitched up.

Golden Games, as you mention there PMK, were another famously fuckable game, even when set to 'child mode'.
 
The £5 golden games were probably worse ‘pro rata’ than their higher jackpot cousins. Absolutely brutal if u didn’t know the score.

But there were numerous others that could take a good 3-6 months ‘pocket money’ to even give a sniff of anything.

No different to certain adult games of course but for the parents giving the kids a tenner to go have fun with amongst the arcade must of been a nightmare on occasion.

Returning back 5 minutes later holding their hands out asking for more!!!
 
Chum of mine got a picture of the payout screen on one of the ticket games.... Amazingly, they spelt 'compensated' wrong too.

1709581402821.png
 
Chum of mine got a picture of the payout screen on one of the ticket games.... Amazingly, they spelt 'compensated' wrong too.
"If gambling is causing you a problem..."

Well yes, namely the asshat that allowed a 70%+ game to be offered almost verbatim as a ticket game for 35% RTP (assuming the tickets are fair value, which they probably aren't).

The regulator doesn't do itself any favours when they're trying to separate out arcades and "proper" gambling, and the providers respond in kind by repurposing the literal same machines (both physical and in this case digital) as ticket games with half the RTP knocked off.
 
It really pays to check the prizes and prices in an arcade before deciding whether to play for tickets.

Was in Stourport-On-Severn at the weekend and SZ Junior was lucky enough to win 2000 tickets after spending £11.

... Which converted to 36 "penny chews" at the desk. Utter robbery.
 
Look at some of the apps on these tablets / phones nowadays…. Risk taking is involved, the flashing lights and colours, the sounds - some are the very same I hear at times while playing slots…. Even the old arcades that pump out the tickets for kids - 500 tickets gets ya a lollipop or cheap toy car - those 500 tickets probably cost 20 bucks to get…. 20 dollar lollipop…. ?‍♂️

Here’s one my son and nephew came across at a “laser tag” place which had the ticket arcades…. First spin this happened after my nephew kept proclaiming “We’re gonna get the BIG ONE!!!!” I kept trying to temper his expectations but he was steadfast….
IMG_0181.jpeg

…..And a gambler may very well have been born at that moment.
 
Look at some of the apps on these tablets / phones nowadays…. Risk taking is involved, the flashing lights and colours, the sounds - some are the very same I hear at times while playing slots…. Even the old arcades that pump out the tickets for kids - 500 tickets gets ya a lollipop or cheap toy car - those 500 tickets probably cost 20 bucks to get…. 20 dollar lollipop…. ?‍♂️

Here’s one my son and nephew came across at a “laser tag” place which had the ticket arcades…. First spin this happened after my nephew kept proclaiming “We’re gonna get the BIG ONE!!!!” I kept trying to temper his expectations but he was steadfast….
View attachment 194211

…..And a gambler may very well have been born at that moment.
"And a gambler may very well have been born at that moment".
Well that's all it takes for some unfortunately and sometimes leads to a pitiful demise.
 
"And a gambler may very well have been born at that moment".
Well that's all it takes for some unfortunately and sometimes leads to a pitiful demise.
This is why Im of the belief the worst thing that could happen to some is that first “win”. While you may not give the idea of gambling a second thought or even frown upon it - that changes when you experience that first rush.
 

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