The Association of British Bookmakers has issued a statement in which they urge amusement arcade operators to ‘catch up’ with other betting stakeholders regarding consumer protection standards and problem gambling awareness.
The ABB was critical of the lack of consumer safety protections, alerts and monitoring at UK arcades following new evidence produced by the UK Gambling Commission, which revealed that consumers are 67% more likely to spend over two hours on arcade gaming machines than on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals in betting shops, while also returning less money.
The ABB note that arcade machines do not display ‘safe gambling’ messages which accompany FOBTs. They also criticise there are no set betting limits which are subject to mandatory time and spend alerts on arcade games. The ABB also complains that arcade staff lack training to help them identify customers who may be at risk from problem gambling.
The ABB statement comments: “It is time the amusement arcade industry cleaned up its act and got its house in order. Arcade owners should be doing far more to support responsible gambling. This research from the Gambling Commission clearly shows that people can lose more money, more quickly in an amusement arcade than a betting shop.”
“The evidence also revealed that the biggest session losses for customers across all gaming machines occur between 9 am and 10 am in adult gaming centres. In a betting shop, gaming machine players can set their own limits on what they spend or time they play for, and they are supervised by a highly trained staff – staff who can spot and help people getting into difficulty.”