In an effort to safeguard players, GamCare is calling on the UK Government to reconsider its proposed changes to regulations surrounding Electronic Gaming Machines (EGMs) in land-based gambling venues. The organization is also advocating for clearer guidelines on cash-out machines, age restrictions, and challenging cashless payments.

Citing statistics from the Gambling Commission, it has been revealed that EGMs generated a staggering £1.8 billion ($2.19 billion) in gross gambling yield (GGY) for the UK gambling industry in 2022. Additionally, it was found that 7% of the total gambling population engage in EGMs.

Explaining their reasoning, GamCare highlights the addictive nature of EGMs and the increased risk of significant financial losses. In response, the Department for Culture, Media and Sports has proposed a number of measures to protect players, including time and monetary limits, staff alerts for hitting limits, enhanced card account verification, and restricted access to low stake machines for individuals under 18. GamCare supports these proposed safeguards, yet expresses concern over reports from its users indicating that some measures may actually exacerbate gambling-related harms, such as the greater availability of EGMs.

GamCare insists that the increased number of EGMs will elevate the risk of gambling harm due to higher stakes. They emphasize the need for stronger protective measures within land-based premises, including spending limits and mandatory card verification for every transaction. Furthermore, the organization raises concerns about the ambiguity of ‘cash-out’ machines, their restricted access by age, and how they can potentially serve as a gateway to gambling harm for young individuals.

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