Will the Gambling Commission destroy our industry? by Freddy Bailey

25/04/2012

It seems that the Gambling Commission is hell bent on destroying the traditional side of the British coin machine industry that has been found in FECs, pubs, arcades and other sites for over 70 years -  in favour of more high revenue generating locations such as betting shops and casinos. 

However, in the past, the British Amusement Trade was assured by the predecessor of this new and hostile Gambling Commission (The Gambling Board of Great Britain) that they would never allow the large US style of operating hundreds of slot machines in one location – or indeed even one AWP style slot machine in a British betting shop.

So it is ironic that these very locations are booming with high payout games. Not only has the Gambling Commission allowed these actions – they have allowed these machines to be produced and operated by foreign companies that would never have qualified for a licence to do so, by the original Gaming Board who would not allow foreign companies to even qualify for a gaming machine certificate.

So not only has this rogue Gambling Commission allowed the operation of gaming machines in the traditional high street betting shops but they have aided and abetted these locations by assisting them to wipe out the competition by introducing rules and regulations that make it impossible to compete on a level playing field.

They have done this firstly by making it illegal for a person running a pub to collect and place bets for their customers who want to have a bet while drinking in their local pub. More importantly they have done this by making the machines available in the betting shop more attractive to the player than those in the pub.

If a player wishes to win up to £70 in a traditional location he must stake a £1 bet but if he hazards the same £1 in a betting shop or casino he or she can win a vast amount more – making it totally impossible to compete.

Even though these betting shops are enjoying a boom in betting revenues they are still being caught cheating and are being charged with illegal gaming activities – even though they can pay out vast amounts of money on their gaming machines.

The Gambling Commission should at least bring these betting shop locations in line with the same pay out structures that are imposed on the rest of the coin machine trade. For while all of this is happening – the traditional arcades and small operators are being attacked and scrutinized by over-enthusiastic Gambling Commission inspectors.

Not only are traditional style locations such as arcades being put out of business – so are the traditional coin machine manufacturers who are also being eaten up and taken over by the very same foreign companies that have been known to have a record of corruption in their own countries and would never have qualified for a gaming certificate under the original Gaming Board of Great Britain.

One of these days, Tony Blair and some of his cronies are going to have a lot to answer for….

(click on the image below to see in full)

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As you know I have researched the various activities in our industry for more than 30 years, it is amazing how the Gambling Commission as done such an about turn when viewing the activities of the various foreign companies now enjoying such great success in the British coin machine industry that until this new Gambling Commission regime took over was not possible under the old Gaming Board of Great Britian. .

On this very day Rupert Murdock owner of more than 175 news related tabloids, is being investigated by the British Justice department that is being covered live on the U.S Cspan network as I write. The nature of this investigation is to find out if he did influence many British politicians on various decisions made by the two political parties of Britain.

This being said it shows that there is no reason like we cannot assume that politicians and the present Gambling Commission cannot be swayed into voting in favor of certain establishments with vested interests in hard gambling and to help obliterate the traditional amusement industry that as been the backbone of that industry since the early 1930′s. Is our trade association BACTA going to sit back and let this happen or are they going to help us save the little we have left as an industry.

I have wrote my feeling in this article about this subject after researching not only in the U.K. but also in the U.S. where the control of industry by “Special Interest” groups was spowned in the first place.

Just last week in the U.K. it was announced that a group called The Responsible Gambling Trust was formed and the objects of that trust was to raise money to the tune of 15,000.000 of which 5,000.000 pounds was already raised to do research into gambling addiction in Great Britain, it is ironic that the committee that is doing this is made up of a both members of the Casino and Gaming Association and representitives of the British Gambling Commission. How come no representivies of our section of the industry is not sitting on this committee. Is that they feel that our sector of the industry is not going to be around long enough in the future.

I would ask other members of the traditional amusement industry to speak out through their respective local members of Parlement and through our trade association Bacta as well as this trade journal, and demand answers to why we are letting all of this happen ?.

Freddy Bailey

Freddy Bailey
U.S.A.
25/04/2012, 12:46

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