GB industry bodies come together for new code on safer land-based game design
| By Daniel O'Boyle
Bacta, The Bingo Association and the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) have together finalised a new safer design code for land-based gaming machines in Great Britain, including a ban on celebrating so-called “losses disguised as wins”.
The code is the result of work that began in January 2020, when the Gambling Commission created industry working groups to tackle issues such as marketing, VIP schemes and game design. This new land-based code will complement the updated rules for online game design, which banned autoplay and set a 2.5-second minimum speed for slot spins.
The new rules for the land-based sector include one stating that machines may no longer “celebrate” wins that are less than the player’s original stake through visual or auditory fanfare.
“It is significant achievement for the whole industry to reach agreement on such a broad topic,” Bacta chief executive John White said. “Nevertheless, the challenge was one that had to be met and we now have a code which again demonstrates the industry’s commitment to socially responsible recreational gaming.
“It adds to a long list of industry initiatives that have played their part in reducing problem gambling rates to the historically low level of 0.2% of the population.”
BGC executive director Wes Himes added that the industry will continue to look for more evidence-based measures to reduce harm.
“We welcome this code as another example of industry driving higher standards to address the issues of risk and we will continue to introduce further measures based on evidence in our fight to prevent harm.”
Miles Baron CEO of the Bingo Association, meanwhile, said the code demonstrated the ability of different areas of the land-based sector to come together for the common good.
“The Bingo Association is pleased to support this code in partnership with Bacta and the BGC demonstrating the ability of the land-based sector to come together when required to strengthen safer gambling protocols.”