The gambling regulator has challenged the biggest gambling firms in Britain to raise – and speed up – their game in keeping customers safe from gambling-related harm and creating a market that the public can trust.
The Gambling Commission has warned that operators who fail to protect the public risk their long term future in the industry.
This week, gambling industry leaders gathered in Birmingham for the Gambling Commission’s annual Raising Standards conference. The event is part of the Commission’s strategy to press its licensees to make gambling a fairer and safer experience for players.
Coin-op Community attended the rally hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group for supporters of the £2 stake for FOBTs at the House of Commons on Wednesday 22nd November.
The speakers included Carolyn Harris MP who is Chair of the group, Lord Don Foster, Ronnie Cowan MP, Sir Robin Wales and Matt Zarb-Cousin. There were two additional speakers; Iain Duncan Smith MP spoke about his CSJ report and explained that he raised concerns about betting shops at a Cabinet sub-committee a few years ago, only to be rebuffed.
Many bacta members were also present at the meeting, including Gabino Stergides, President, James Miller, Vice President and John White, Chief Executive.
NRM, the independently owned gaming technology and software solutions provider, has strengthened its position in the commercial bingo sector with the acquisition of Big Deal Games Ltd (BDG) from Timeplay. The purchase, which was completed on Monday 20th November for an undisclosed price, will see Steve Rice, who has been a central figure at BDG, remain as Commercial Director of the company.
Explaining the development, Andrew Ludlow, Managing Director and Co-Owner of NRM, said: “This is a key acquisition which fits perfectly within the strategic and product development plan for NRM. BDG is active in the commercial bingo sector with an install base of 14 venues operating in excess of 1,500 handheld tablets, in the British Isles, predominately in Northern Ireland.
This afternoon the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, delivered the 2017 Autumn Budget.
This is a crucial budget for both the Chancellor and the Prime Minister, following the uninspiring Conservative manifesto, earlier in the year. This is an opportunity for this Conservative Government to address a number of the issues that arose from the general election, young people, austerity, housing and the uncertainty around the economy.
The Chancellor described this as a “forward looking Budget to embrace change, meet our challenges head on and seize the opportunities for Britain.”
As expected, in the Chancellor’s speech there was no mention of gambling. In previous budgets, HMRC published documents relating to taxation changes as a result of the Chancellor’s speech, in the Spring Budget this included a forecast from the Treasury/HMRC for gaming duty over the next 5 years.
However, today HMRC have published the following statement, outlining that the forecast on gaming duty has been deferred until the conclusion of the current triennial review consultation by DCMS.
“The government will publish a consultation in early 2018 on gaming duty return periods to seek views on bringing the administration of gaming duty more into line with the other gambling duties. It will also seek views on removal of the requirement to make payments on account.”
BANDAI NAMCO Amusement Europe (BNAE) are back from a bumper IAAPA in Orlando, Florida where stand 1000 was bursting at the seams with brand new titles – all set to be a massive hit with the players.
From BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Jumbo Jumpin Jackpot builds on the success of the original Jumpin Jackpot skipping game – but is 50% bigger and brought up to date with the latest LED technology and linkable game play.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a four-player brawler with an eye-catching 55 inch screen – featuring the latest character graphics and voices. “The customer reaction to this title was incredible at IAAPA” says James Anderson, Sales & Commercial Director at BNAE.
Leading gambling solicitors Poppleston Allen have obtained a Non-Remote Bingo Operating Licence for Bongo’s Bingo.
Nick Arron, Partner and Head of Gambling at Poppleston Allen, said “Bongo’s Bingo is a fantastic new development in the world of bingo, and it has been a real pleasure working with Josh and Jess to successfully obtain a Non-Remote Bingo Operating Licence. There were some difficulties which we had to overcome, and I am pleased that we have done so, and that Bongo’s Bingo can now move on with their highly entertaining brand of bingo”. Josh Burke, founder and Managing Director of Bongo’s Bingo commented: “Bongo’s Bingo has been wildly successful since we launched, so you can imagine how delighted we were with Nick and his team at Poppleston Allen, in successfully obtaining an Operating Licence on our behalf”.
Bongo’s Bingo has been running their unique events throughout the UK, are established in Australia, Dubai as well as starting to work in Europe and North America. Their unique brand of bingo includes dance offs, cash prizes as well as rubbish prizes (Henry hoovers!), and they have had some surprise appearances from David Hasselhoff, Five, SClub and Miss Dynamite.
SUZOHAPP is proud to announce its new partnership with Nanoptix, a global provider of technologies for the gaming, lottery, kiosk, POS and amusement markets. The new agreement involves the global distribution of all printing solutions from Nanoptix.
This new partnership reflects a new strategic direction for SUZOHAPP and represents its strong commitment to offer the most technologically advanced printing solutions. Nanoptix has over twenty years of experience in printing technology and has earned a reputation of excellent value and outstanding customer support, with superior technology at a very competitive price. Its strong experience and its top quality innovative solutions such as the PayCheck NextGen printer make Nanoptix the perfect partner for SUZOHAPP.
The three-month consultation period now in progress in the UK to decide upon fresh levels of stakes in fixed-odds betting terminals in bookmakers’ shops will certainly result in a substantial cut-back, says Nick Harding, chief executive at leading adult gaming centres company Praesepe.
“Our company standpoint is that the maximum stake should be reduced to £2 and that is the view we will submit in the process of collecting the opinions of interested parties,” he said.
The stance taken by Praesepe, which is part of the Gauselmann Group and the operator of 181 locations across the UK, is mirrored by many other high-street operators that have seen the impact on their own businesses from the availability of the aggressive and high-stakes machines in close proximity with the rest of the industry.
“Common sense dictates that £2 will offer a level playing field to everyone and that will be in our submission. That level is a very low-risk stake. The reality is that in our own adult gaming centres operation the actually average stake on our Category B3 machines is somewhat lower than £2.
“If we can achieve this level playing field then we can all move forward as a united land-based industry, together with the bookmakers, who were, don’t forget at one time members of our trade association, BACTA.”
Last week’s Holiday Parks Innovation show held at Birmingham’s NEC attracted a smattering of industry companies, including Blueprint Machines/GeWeTe, Sound Leisure/SL Kids, Eurocoin and World of Rides. InterGame/InterFun and Holiday Parks Management magazine were also represented.
The show appears to be replacing the Leisure Industry Week event, which lost favour with the coin-op sector as it became increasingly focused on gyms and spas. Another company known to our side of the industry was Espresso Essential, which was typical of a number of vending options featured at the show. There was a wide range of exhibitors, including lodge and structure manufacturers, pool and spa products, numerous booking system providers, and sustainable technologies among others
“We chose the show to exhibit our cashless solution to park owners and we have had some really good enquiries – it has definitely been worthwhile,” said Eurocoin’s Paul Smith.
The Gambling Commission has unveiled a new strategy which it believes will help shape a well-regulated gambling market that works for consumers.
The strategy – which will be of interest to consumers, gambling businesses and others – sets out the regulator’s focus and commitment in five priority areas:
- protecting the interests of consumers – for example, the Commission expects operators to intervene to make play safe and to protect consumers at risk. There will also be tougher and broader sanctions on operators (including lotteries) who fail to treat customers fairly and make gambling safe.
- preventing harm to consumers and the public – for example, the Commission expects consumers to be provided with more information about gambling and its risks, and better controls to manage their gambling.
- raising standards in the gambling market – for example, the Commission expects effective and independent arrangements to resolve consumer complaints and disputes.
- optimising returns to good causes from lotteries – for example, the Commission will regulate in a way that delivers a healthy National Lottery for customers and good causes, and plan for the competition for a new licence to be awarded for 2023.
- improving the way the Commission regulates – for example, the Commission will improve the way it taps into consumer and public issues to inform action; it will help industry comply but take precautionary action where necessary, and will give independent and well evidenced advice to government on gambling and its impact.