UK Bacta to BAN Under 18’s on ‘SOME’ Gambling Machines

JGslots

Ueber Meister
webmeister
PABinit
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
Location
Wales
Hello folks, hope you’re well. I’m looking for your opinions on this.

Bacta, is the main trade body in the UK land based gambling market, covering amusement arcades and adult gaming centres.

For those that aren’t aware; here in the UK under 18s are allowed to play low stake, low jackpot slots, with a max stake of 10p, £5 jackpot. They can be found in arcades, fairs, service station areas, bowling alleys, cinemas and even restaurants.

Last month Bacta announced this:-
You do not have permission to view link Log in or register now.


basically, they are telling their members they intend to make the use of these £5 cash jackpot slots not available to be played by under 18’s.

That sounds great right? Protecting young, vulnerable people from gambling harm (hoorah!)

BUT...

What they are not banning is Redemption Machines for use by under 18’s.

What Are Redemption Machines?
Redemption machines are often a game of skill and players play these to win tickets and cash them in for prizes.

These redemption machines often have an RTP as low as 30% payout. There’s very little regulation regarding these machines and I think they are just as addictive and provide a facility of gambling.

The trade body clearly advertise these as harmless fun/entertainment.


Anyone of the same opinion, or feel different? I would like to raise this issue with the UKGC or at least request evidence from Bacta about why they are not including these in the ban?

Rob :)
 

dunover

Unofficial T&C's Editor
Staff member
webmeister
PABnonaccred
PABnononaccred
CAG
mm3
Joined
May 22, 2012
Location
the bus shelter, opposite GCHQ Benhall
I absolutely agree - I have never, ever been able to get my head around the fact that the UK heavily regulates adult gambling yet allows under-18's to gamble on fruit machines/AWP's. Even worse, due to the low stakes they are invariably set up at 70% or near the legal minimum which means they simply suck the money from the kids anyway. So not only do you have slots for kids, but bad slots for kids. Those ticket slot machines are as you say terrible yet you see kids on pier arcades shovelling money into them so they can lose £5 to get enough tickets for a 20p plastic piece of junk. They are the equivalent of Loot Boxes and like those, they should be banned from children.
Under 18's should not legally be able to indulge in ANY games of chance or risk that involve a stake or spending money.
 

colinsunderland

Experienced Member
webmeister
MM
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Location
uk
I don't have a problem with seaside arcades for any age, especially not the 2p pushers and suchlike. I hate the ticket games with a passion though. Absolutely terrible, spend £30 for something you could get from the £ shop.
 

shadow123

Ueber Meister
MM
Joined
Mar 19, 2008
Location
midlands
So there wont be any fruits at all on the arcade floor except for 18+ areas ?
The cat d machines will no longer have any purpose, have they actually thought this through ?
What kind of idiots are coming up with this crap, since I was a kid a long long time ago there have been low stake, low
jackpot machines, all of a sudden they are seen as the starting point for a life time of gambling.
Cant believe an association dedicated to arcade operators has proposed this volantarily,more like then UKCG "suggesting"
it would be a good move, sounds very fishy to me
 

ESCJAMIE

He/Him. High Voltage Only
MM
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Location
UK South west
2p 5p machines all fun and no harm for kids IMO, them £5 gambling machines are a big nono IMO there just no need for them, I started playing them from like 10 or something at holiday parks in the arcade no one ever stopped me as there is no minimum age for players of category D machines. and then I went str8 on the bigger ones at 50p £1 a spin when I was 16/17 even thou it was 18+ cause I got a thrill from it so to speak, not touched them in years as they are so bad RTP, These machines do hook people on them, The coin pushers and typical arcade games where you can win tickets and stuff I have no issue with harmless fun for kids.
 

JGslots

Ueber Meister
webmeister
PABinit
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
Location
Wales
I sent Bacta an email expressing my concerns and to my shock, they replied :p


Dear Robert,



Thank you for your email.



Bacta has considered very carefully how it can provide additional reassurance to those that may be concerned about young people playing on Category D fruit machines.



The evidence tends to suggest that they are not problematic. They are regulated machines in regulated environments, very few children are ever seen playing them and even if they do it is when on holiday with their parents. In light of this we agreed to extend our voluntary code which prevented under 16s playing on cash payout machines unless accompanied by an adult, to a straightforward restriction on non under 18s to play. This has been widely welcomed.



The ticket pay out machines are different. They are part of the inclusive redemption offer. Families play collectively to win tickets. Clearly tickets cannot be re-inserted into a machine and therefore we do not believe that there is any heightened risk associated with their use. There is no evidence to the contrary.



All Category D products are regulated by the Gambling Commission Technical Standards.



Kind Regards

Theresa

Theresa Risby
Membership & Compliance Co-Ordinator
bacta
29-30 Ely Place
London EC1N 6TD
 

Lemon

Aaaaah! Lemon fresh :)
Joined
Mar 14, 2017
Location
Skinton-on-sea
They should put reel-based redemption machines in with the Cat D stuff and ban their use for under 18's. Anything that looks like a fruit machine with reels, even when paying just tickets should be made unavailable to kids because they are a clear gateway to proper gambling. Anything else is fine in my opinion - pushers, cranes and all the fun redemption games that you get in FEC's are all OK in my book and part of a fun day out. The kids play a few fun and innovative games, change their tickets up at the end for a Spongebob mug and a packet of Fizzers and go home happy.

Those 3-player top-box ticket fruit machines you get in arcades though (usually by Eurotek or suchlike) are an absolute fucking disgrace. Gambling at 30% RTP disguised as fun.

And I completely disagree with anyone who says Cat D gambling machines are harmless fun and 'part and parcel of a family day out to the seaside' - I know countless people from over years who can pinpoint their easy access to fruit machines as children as being the very moment they became aware that they had a problem with gambling. They didn't realise it at the time because they were kids, but that is what triggered it all off. Imagine being addicted to gambling when you're 12 or 13 or something, and knowing it deep down. If you're going to get introduced to gambling you want it to happen when you're an adult and can research it and make proper rational decisions.

I'd like to see Cat D abolished eventually, and this recent change is probably a stepping-stone. Most Cat D stuff is legacy anyway these days, and falling to bits. Not many manufacturers are that invested in it either so it will probably die off of its own accord, or maybe they'll make operators move them into the over-18s areas so all gambling is in one place. Leave all the ticket stuff and video-games, air hockey, pushers and cranes on the main floor away from gambling, nice and clean, and let kids be kids.

The lottery moving to a minimum age of 18 is also another good step - any kid of 16 winning millions of pounds is never going to end well.
 
Last edited:

SnakeFood

Yummy!
Joined
Apr 27, 2020
Location
London
They should put reel-based redemption machines in with the Cat D stuff and ban their use for under 18's. Anything that looks like a fruit machine with reels, even when paying just tickets should be made unavailable to kids because they are a clear gateway to proper gambling. Anything else is fine in my opinion - pushers, cranes and all the fun redemption games that you get in FEC's are all OK in my book and part of a fun day out. The kids play a few fun and innovative games, change their tickets up at the end for a Spongebob mug and a packet of Fizzers and go home happy.

Those 3-player top-box ticket fruit machines you get in arcades though (usually by Eurotek or suchlike) are an absolute fucking disgrace. Gambling at 30% RTP disguised as fun.

And I completely disagree with anyone who says 2p and 5p Cat D machines are harmless fun - I know countless people from over years who can pinpoint their easy access to fruit machines as children as being the very moment they became aware that they had a problem with gambling. They didn't realise it at the time because they were kids, but that is what triggered it all off. Imagine being addicted to gambling when you're 12 or 13 or something, and knowing it deep down. If you're going to get introduced to gambling you want it to happen when you're an adult and can research it and make proper rational decisions.

I'd like to see Cat D abolished eventually, and this recent change is probably a stepping-stone. Most Cat D stuff is legacy anyway these days, and falling to bits. Not many manufacturers are that invested in it either so it will probably die off of its own accord. The lottery moving to a minimum age of 18 is also another good step - any kid of 16 winning millions of pounds is never going to end well.

This.

I hate redemption machines too. Not because of what they are. The idea is a good one after all. But the availability of abuse and the uptake of it is astonishing.
I don't know the min RTP, but 30% wouldn't surprise me. But the 'value' of the tickets paid out isn't what you get back in prizes. The prizes I've seen are incredibly cheap tat that have virtually no value to them. Add in the fact that an amount of tickets won't get redeemed, (from what I've seen) the eventual 'RTP' can be extremely low indeed.
I love arcades. It's the highlight of the British holiday for a lot of kids. Pushers, cranes etc. Brilliant fun. But playing these ticket machines with my kids makes me quite angry. In one session, maybe around an hour, we ploughed through a good £80 to end up with about £1 worth of crap. In that time I watched them pump 2p after 2p into pushers etc. whist I struggled to keep up getting change and and no point did they appreciate the value of this money. I'd much prefer these machines to be payout cash. At least they'd get a lesson in value! (Or not!).
I've played redemption in other countries where there's value to the prizes and it works fine.
The only good part are the ticket munchers!
 

Lemon

Aaaaah! Lemon fresh :)
Joined
Mar 14, 2017
Location
Skinton-on-sea
Some arcades do redemption better than others. Some of the tat you see in a few of them is depressing, along with the equipment. Pontins is dreadful - give us yer money as quick as possible, you'll be gone in a week anyway...

Other arcades, especially independent ones really make an effort to attract regular customers back every year - great new equipment with reinvestment every season, great value for money and an extensive range of prizes at good exchange rates.

You just have to shop around...
 
Top