New £50 stake limit measure helps machine players stay in control
This month, the Government’s new £50 stake measure comes into play for gaming machine customers.
Any customer now wishing to stake more than £50 on a machine will have to load their stakes at the counter in all betting shops by informing staff that they wish to bet at a higher level.
Importantly, before being allowed to place a bet over £50, staff must have a responsible gambling conversation with the customer, ensuring they understand why the new protections have been put in place and are happy to continue to bet.
The changes are happening because the Government wanted to ensure that players stayed in control of their gambling at all times.
Shop staff have all been trained in how to carry out even more rigorous responsible gambling interactions to ensure customers are happy to continue with their gambling session.
Whenever a customer reaches the £50 spending limit, automatically the gaming machine locks and stops. At that point, the customer is invited to log into their loyalty account if they have one to continue.
If they do not have one, the screen remains locked and they are invited to go to the counter if they wish to spend more. The third option is to reduce their bet to below £50.
The stake change is expected to impact hard on the sector by between £17million (DCMS Impact Assessment) and £150million (analysts).
The new staking measures were announced last year by Government and since then operators have been working closely with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and machine manufacturers to ensure that the mechanisms were in place for the new limits.
They will have the alternative of switching to account-based play, so that their spending can be tracked. DCMS ministers, in its assessment, argued that “account-based play allows players access to up-to-date information which can reduce biased or irrational gambling and help people maintain control.”
Customers would therefore be able to monitor exactly what they spend and will regularly be sent account statements so they will be able to sit away from the betting shop environment and decide in the cold light of day whether they would be better to changing how they gamble.
This latest measure is an example of the commitment to responsible gambling that ABB members are all determined to make work for all our customers, and we will work closely with whoever the next Government is to ensure together this agenda continues to be developed.
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