This speech was given by Mandy Gill, the Director of Compliance for the Gambling Commission, at the British Amusement Catering Trade Association (BACTA) Social Responsibility Exchange.
During the speech, Gill highlighted both successes and failures in social responsibility that the Commission has observed, as well as upcoming changes.
Gill began by acknowledging that while the Commission often focuses on addressing issues and taking action against failures, attending an event like this demonstrates a commitment to doing the right thing.
She clarified that financial vulnerability checks and risk assessments will only apply to remote gambling and will not extend to land-based premises. Gill also emphasized that changes to online non-slots casino games will only impact remote gambling.
However, there have been challenges with age verification across the board. To address this, the Gambling Commission has proposed increasing the age at which staff should challenge customers to verify their age from 21 to 25, aligning with requirements for other age-restricted products like alcohol and tobacco.
Gill also acknowledged that BACTA members have taken voluntary action to ban under-18s from using Category D slot machines with cash prizes. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is currently considering turning this ban into legislation.
The Gambling Commission categorizes gambling machines into four categories based on cost and maximum prize money. Category A machines are not currently legal in the UK. Category D machines, which include low-stake fruit machines, coin pushers, and crane grabs, can be found in arcades and casinos.
In summary, Gill’s speech addressed the Commission’s commitment to social responsibility, highlighted policy changes, and acknowledged industry efforts to protect vulnerable individuals in gambling establishments.