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UK Gambling Commission highlights failures to stop children playing on 18+ pub gaming machines

George Miller

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UK Gambling Commission highlights failures to stop children playing on 18+ pub gaming machines
Photo Source: highclassequine.com
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Tests on a sample of pubs in England indicate that almost 90% failed to prevent children accessing 18+ gaming machines.

The Gambling Commission has worked with licensing authorities and local police to test compliance with laws in place to protect children from the risks gambling can pose.

Children are not permitted to play Category C gaming machines in pubs. Staff are expected to stop children playing on the machines and there should be clear signage indicating the age restriction.

Announcing the results at the Institute of Licensing National Conference, Helen Rhodes, Programme Director at the Gambling Commission, said: “We are extremely concerned that pubs across England are failing to stop children playing gaming machines designed for adults. We urgently call on the pub sector to take action immediately to enforce the laws in place to protect children and young people.”

“We expect to see significant improvement in further tests and will continue to work with licensing authorities to support any action required against those failing to adhere to the requirements.”

The current failure rate (89%) compares to an average failure rate of 15% to 30% for other age restricted products such as alcohol or tobacco.

The Commission has written to the pub industry today outlining the findings of our work and calling for urgent improvements. The letter can be found below.

 

 

Letter 

Dear Trade Association

Age Verification on Category C (adult only) gaming machines in pubs

In June 2018 the Gambling Commission (the Commission) set out further commitments to protecting children and young people from the dangers of gambling, building on work already underway in this area.

The Commission asked its expert advisers the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB) for specific advice on the critical theme of children, young people and gambling. Bringing together existing work and acting on the advice provided by the RGSB, the Commission’s strengthened focus seeks to ensure the right protections are in place to reduce the risk of harm to children and young people.

The Commission called for all those responsible for safeguarding children, to work together with the Commission to address the wide range of issues identified in RGSB’s advice. Amongst the actions identified was the need to address access and exposure to gambling by children and young people.

The Commission has therefore been working in conjunction with licensing authorities across England for the last six months to test the compliance of pubs with the requirement to prevent under 18s playing on Category C machines. These exercises were led by licensing authorities (and trading standards staff) or police officers who had volunteered their resources to work with the Commission.

The interim results are sufficiently concerning that we consider it to be in the public interest to release them immediately. The current failure rate is 89% based on 61 tests. This compares to a pass rate of 70 – 85% for most age restricted products such as alcohol or tobacco. (Source: Serve Legal.)

The pubs tested were a matter for the licensing authority to determine based on their local priorities. The failure rate did not vary significantly between licensing authorities nor between [large] pub companies and independents. The results were uniformly poor.

To summarise the legal position, at s46 of the Gambling Act 2005 (the Act)

(1)   A person commits an offence if he invites, causes or permits a child or young person to gamble.

At s284, a licensing authority may remove the exemption (to make gaming machines available on a licensed premises) if:

            ‘an offence under this Act has been committed on the premises’.

The Commission has published a Code of Practice[1] for gaming machines in clubs and premises with an alcohol licence under s24 of the Act. The Code makes it a condition of the permit that:

‘All gaming machines situated on the premises must be located in a place within the premises so that their use can be supervised, either by staff whose duties include such supervision (including bar or floor staff) or by other means.’

Section 3.1 of the Code sets out good practice in relation to access to gambling by children and young people:

Permit holders should put into effect procedures intended to prevent underage gambling. This should include procedures for:

• checking the age of those who appear underage

• refusing entry to anyone unable to produce an acceptable form of identification.

Permit holders should take all reasonable steps to ensure that all relevant employees understand their responsibilities for preventing underage gambling.’

The Commission, the Local Government Association and the Welsh Local Government Association are very concerned about the findings and the clear risks that they indicate to children and young people’s access to gambling. Further tests will be undertaken over the coming months.

We urgently call the industry and their Trade Associations to take the results as a serious indication of the need to improve matters. We expect that the action taken will be reflected in significant improvements in future test results.

As a part of the Commission’s wider focus on children and young people, we will support licensing authorities in their further actions against operators who fail to meet the conditions of their permits and will also not hesitate to amend the Code of Practice for gaming machines in clubs and pubs if that is proved necessary.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Watson, Executive Director Enforcement

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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PRAGMATIC PLAY GOES LIVE WITH INTERWETTEN

Vlad Poptamas

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Pragmatic Play, one of the leading software providers for video slots, live casino and bingo, has seen its Live Casino offering go live with European operator Interwetten.

Customers of the MGA-licenced operator will now have access to Pragmatic Play’s live casino games, all of which will be broadcast using the latest technology from a state-of-the-art, newly constructed studio.

The announcement follows shortly after Pragmatic’s recent communication of receiving an MGA Recognition Notice for its bingo and live casino products. The supplier was also granted an operational licence by the Romanian regulator earlier in 2019.

Yossi Barzely, Chief Business Development Officer at Pragmatic Play, said: “We are delighted to have gone live with such a highly-regarded operator as Interwetten.

“We have been hugely impressed with the company’s work and joining forces with them will consolidate our position as a leading multi-product supplier.

“The speed at which we have achieved commercial success after receiving the MGA Recognition Notice is very exciting, and we eagerly look forward to the future.”

Mario Bilic, Head of Product Management, CRM and Content at Interwetten, said: “Pragmatic Play has a proven track record in the iGaming industry, and we are delighted to be one of the first operators to offer its high-quality live casino games.

“Their suite of games is one of the most innovative in the market, and we have every confidence Pragmatic’s live casino games will be hugely popular with our players.”

Pragmatic Play has signed a series of significant commercial agreements over the past 12 months in regulated markets, expanding its reach with operators including PokerStars, Kindred and Casumo.

The provider’s entire portfolio of video slots, bingo, live casino and other games are all available via a single API.

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Gamanza goes live with Red Tiger

Vlad Poptamas

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The iGaming platform provider Gamanza has taken another step in an exciting trajectory after the company announced the integration of Red Tiger games to its iGaming Superstore. The ISO:27001 certified platform provider has kicked off a series of Go Live events in Switzerland as Red Tiger games were launched at jackpots.ch, via Gamanza’s casino platform. Players at the first regulated online Swiss casino can now enjoy a wide range of big hitting titles from Red Tiger, including Mystery Reels, Dragon’s Fire and the latest blockbuster release, Pirates’ Plenty.
Commercial Director at Red Tiger, Chris Looney commented, “Red Tiger is focused on expansion in regulated markets and we have been eagerly anticipating our entry into Switzerland. Credit to the teams at Gamanza and jackpots.ch, it’s an intriguing partnership and we’re interested to see what comes next”.
Founder & CEO of Gamanza, Magnus Lindberg added, “I have no doubt that Red Tiger will enjoy great success in the Swiss market and we are really pleased to launch the games on our platform.”

“The highly sought-after catalogue of Red Tiger adds further value to our platform proposition in Switzerland, and for our upcoming ventures in other regulated markets.”

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Gambling in the USA

Scientific Games, Big Time Gaming and Golden Nugget Bring Online Content to New Jersey

Zoltan Tundik

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Scientific Games Corporation (NASDAQ: SGMS) (“Scientific Games”) ramped up its online presence in New Jersey through a new launch that sees Big Time Gaming (“BTG”) content available via its Open Gaming System (“OGS”) with Golden Nugget Online Casino (“Golden Nugget”).

BTG is one of Scientific Games’ top-performing network partners in the UK and European markets; this partnership brings their content to the growing U.S. space backed by the renowned OGS platform, beginning with Golden Nugget. The launch reimagines play by giving Golden Nugget an entire library of BTG and Scientific Games content, including games that use the massively popular Megaways™ mechanic like the blockbuster slot Bonanza, available at launch next week.

Nik Robinson, BTG CEO, said: “Our content and Scientific Games’ platform make for a perfect New Jersey offering. The U.S. digital gaming market is gaining traction, and we’re excited to provide Golden Nugget’s players with our growing library of innovative titles.”

Expanding on its strong partnership in Europe with BTG, this launch underpins the reliability and impact of the OGS platform, which brings thousands of games to operators with a single, easy integration. Golden Nugget now has access to a revolutionary portfolio of game content that brings together two of the industry’s creative forces.

Dylan Slaney, SVP Casino and Platforms for SG Digital, said: “Our CONNECT partner program gives developers and innovators the opportunity to offer their content to more players than ever before via one seamless integration, and this launch is a perfect example. By leveraging BTG’s innovative prowess, our strong game brands (both licensed and proprietary), and Golden Nugget’s loyal audience, we’ve created a truly unprecedented gaming ecosystem for New Jersey players.”

“Golden Nugget Casino leads the New Jersey market with the largest portfolio of slot games,” said  Thomas Winter, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Golden Nugget Online Casino. “Working with Scientific Games and Big Time Gaming to bring these innovative Megaways™ slot games to the U.S. provides our growing player base an exclusive first look at these games that are pioneering the online slots industry.”

Megaways™ is a trademark owned by Big Time Gaming. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

© 2019 Scientific Games Corporation. All rights reserved.

About Scientific Games

Scientific Games Corporation (NASDAQ: SGMS) is a world leader in gaming entertainment offering the industry’s broadest and most integrated portfolio of game content, advanced systems, cutting-edge platforms and professional services. Scientific Games is #1 in technology-based gaming systems, digital real-money gaming and sports betting platforms, casino table games and utility products and lottery instant games, and a leading provider of games, systems and services for casino, lottery and social gaming. Committed to responsible gaming, Scientific Games delivers what customers and players value most: trusted security, engaging entertainment content, operating efficiencies and innovative technology. For more information, please visit www.scientificgames.com.

Scientific Games Contacts
Corporate Communications:

Scientific Games:  Susan Cartwright +1 702-532-7981
Vice President, Corporate Communications
susan.cartwright@scientificgames.com

 Investor Relations:
Scientific Games:  Michael Quartieri +1 702-532-7658
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

 

About Big Time Gaming:

Big Time Gaming is the thought leader in slot development, providing the world’s largest online casino operators with its revolutionary OMNI product range. Big Time Gaming continues to lead the charge with games such as Bonanza and Extra Chilli breaking records in turnover and topping the European iGaming charts. With its first branded release Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Big Time Gaming has a growing portfolio of innovative slots and games available through Scientific Games, Microgaming and now Relax.

www.bigtimegaming.com

 

 

About Golden Nugget Atlantic City

The Golden Nugget Atlantic City, located on Frank S. Farley Marina is a premier resort destination, offering guests more than 740 rooms and suites. The entire property went through a $150 million complete renovation 5 years ago and has taken on a fresh, modern look to include a high-energy casino featuring the most popular slot and video poker machines, table games, and poker room; nightly entertainment, new bars and lounges, Haven Nightclub, stylish retail offerings, as well as Landry’s signature world-class restaurants such as Chart House and Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse; a luxury spa and salon; and H20 poolside lounge. The Golden Nugget has already established strong brand recognition worldwide with locations in Las Vegas and Laughlin, NV, Biloxi, MS and Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Launched in November 2013, GoldenNuggetCasino.com offers the best user experience to New Jersey online and mobile real-money gaming players. Supported by the largest selection of games for both desktop and mobile players, a user-friendly interface and a world-class Customer Service, GoldenNuggetCasino.com was voted Operator of the Year in 2015, 2016 and 2017 at the iGaming North America Awards and Operator of the Year 2017, 2018 and 2019 at the EGR North America Awards.

 

 

 

Forward-Looking Statements

In this press release, Scientific Games makes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as “will,” “may,” and “should.” These statements are based upon management’s current expectations, assumptions and estimates and are not guarantees of timing, future results or performance. Therefore, you should not rely on any of these forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. Actual results may differ materially from those contemplated in these statements due to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors, including those factors described in our filings with the SEC, including Scientific Games’ current reports on Form 8-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and its latest annual report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on February 28, 2019 (including under the headings “Forward-Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors”). Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made and, except for Scientific Games’ ongoing obligations under the U.S. federal securities laws, Scientific Games undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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