BBPA calls for "a modest increase in both stake and prize levels" of AWPs

BBPA calls for "a modest increase in both stake and prize levels" of AWPs

Friday, January 26, 2018 Posted by Michael Lawson
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The statement comes in the midst of the government's consultation on betting machines.

The government’s consultation on gaming machines and social responsibility proposals has been met with a strong response from the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), with the body calling on the protection of Category C AWP machines.

In a detailed response, the BBPA calls for the government to allow a modest rise in stakes and prizes for these machines. It is also calling for an urgent consultation on the Category C technical standards to ensure the pub amusement machine can survive into the future.

The BBPA argues that its outlined suggestions will keep pub amusement machines attractive without impacting on social responsibility or problem gambling. It was also claimed that the recent research does not identify AWP machines in respect of problem gambling.

Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the BBPA, told TotallyGaming.com: “At a time when operating costs for pubs are rising, amusement machines are a crucial revenue stream. The BBPA continues to call for measures such as a modest increase in both stake and prize levels, and the ability to futureproof amusement machines to ensure they remain attractive to customers.”

She added: “The amusement machine offer in pubs needs to be able to develop to meet the expectations of the consumer and form part of a low stake, low prize entertainment offer in a pub. Our proposals to increase both stake and prize should help keep pub amusement machines competitive.

“Any gaming machine use in pubs is overseen by the licensee/manager and their team, and pubs represent, much as they do for drinking, a socially responsible environment. The BBPA already has a long-established code of practice to ensure machines are operated responsibly.

“Operating costs for pubs are under pressure from high beer duty, business rates, the apprenticeship levy, and mandatory auto-enrolment pensions for employees. Income from amusement machines can be vitally important in keeping many pubs viable, and an increase in prize for Category C machines will enable pubs to invest in the business and keep an important social resource viable.”

Totally Gaming says: It’s unsurprising that the BBPA is concerned about the future of AWP machines, given the vilification and hysteria surrounding their betting shop sibling, the FOBT. At a time when British pubs are already under considerable strain, these machines offer an invaluable income source. Attacking this income source could have troubling consequences for the sector.

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