Download the full outcome
Detail of outcome
The government’s consultation on gaming machines and social responsibility measures ran from 31 October 2017 to 23 January 2018.
The objective of the review was to ensure we have the right balance between a sector that can grow and contribute to the economy, and one that is socially responsible and doing all it should to protect consumers and communities from harm.
Underlying this objective is our focus on reducing gambling-related harm, protecting the vulnerable and making sure that those experiencing problems are getting the help they need.
At consultation, we received 7,361 survey responses from a wide range of interested parties, and a further 243 submissions of supplementary information and evidence along with various petitions. Having considered these responses, as well as the advice from the Gambling Commission, the Government’s response sets out a package of measures, including:
- Reducing the maximum stake on B2 gaming machines (FOBTs) from £100 to £2;
- Maintaining the status quo on stakes, prizes and allocations for all other gaming machines;
- Improving player protections on category B machines, to be taken forward by the Gambling Commission;
- A plan of action to strengthen player protections online, to be taken forward by the Gambling Commission; specifically around age verification, improving terms and conditions, identifying risks to players earlier and on customer interaction policies. If operators fail to demonstrate sufficient progress then the Government and the Commission have powers to introduce additional controls or restrictions on the online sector;
- A package of measures on advertising - implemented by regulators, industry and broadcasters - which will help protect those who are most vulnerable and continue to improve our knowledge about the links between advertising and harm. This includes a major responsible gambling advertising campaign due to be launched later this year;
- Working with Department for Health & Social Care (DHSC) and Public Health England (PHE) on follow-up to this review to improve evidence on treatment and assess gaps. The Commission are also taking action to strengthen the voluntary system for funding and commissioning research, education and treatment; and
- As part of the next licence competition the age limit for playing National Lottery games will be reviewed, to take into accounts developments in the market and the risk of harm to young people.
Detail of feedback received
Responses from industry/trade groups, local authorities, interest groups, charities, faith groups, academics and parliamentarians to the consultation are provided above. Some respondents have requested redactions and we have also redacted some details to comply with data protection requirements. Some respondents have requested their response is not published or permission to publish has not been granted at time of publication. Subsequent permission may be given and their responses will be added along with a note on this page. Responses from the general public are also not included.
In 2016 the Government launched a review of gaming machines and social responsibility measures which began with a call for evidence. Responses to the call for evidence have been published as part of this package. The Government’s objective in initiating this review was to ensure we have the right balance between a sector that can grow and contribute to the economy, while also ensuring it is socially responsible and doing all it should to protect consumers and communities, including those who are just about managing.
On 31 October, we published a consultation that covers proposals relating to:
- Maximum stakes and prizes for all categories of gaming machines permitted under the Gambling Act 2005;
- Social responsibility measures for the industry as a whole to minimise the risk of gambling-related harm, including on gambling advertising, online gambling, gaming machines and research, education and treatment (RET).
Written Ministerial Statement - Consultation on proposals for changes to Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures
Made by: Tracey Crouch (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
I wish to inform the House that on 31st October 2017, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport published a consultation on proposals for changes to gaming machines and social responsibility requirements across the gambling industry.
The Government announced a review of gaming machines and social responsibility measures in October 2016. The objective of the review was to ensure we have the right balance between a sector that can grow and contribute to the economy, and one that is socially responsible and doing all it should to protect consumers and communities. The responses to the call for evidence have also been published alongside this consultation so that respondents can see the evidence that we have drawn on in developing these proposals.
We believe that the current regulation of B2 gaming machines is inappropriate to achieve our stated objective of protecting consumers and wider communities. We are therefore consulting on regulatory changes to the maximum stake, looking at options between £50 and £2, in order to reduce the potential for large session losses and therefore to the potentially harmful impact on the player and their wider communities.
While the industry proposes increases to the remaining stakes and prizes, and permitted numbers and allocations across other categories of machine (B1, B3, B3A, B4, C and D gaming machines), we believe retention of the current regulatory environment will better protect players from potential harm than industry’s proposed increases.
We are aware that the factors which influence the extent of harm to the player are wider than one product, or a limited set of parameters such as stakes and prizes, and include factors around the player, the environment and the product. We are therefore also consulting on corresponding social responsibility measures across gaming machines that enable high rates of loss, on player protections in the online sector, on a package of measures on gambling advertising and on current arrangements for the delivery of research, education and treatment (RET). Within this package, we want to see industry, regulator and charities continue to drive the social responsibility agenda, to ensure all is being done to protect players without the need for further Government intervention, and that those in trouble can access the treatment and support they need.
The consultation will close on 23 January 2018, following which Government will consider its final proposals. Relevant documents have been published on the gov.uk website and copies will be deposited in the libraries of both houses.