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Gaming sector trade bodies, bacta, The Bingo Association and the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), last week finalised work on a Safer Game Design Code for gaming machines in the land-based sector.

The Code is a cross-sector initiative started before the Covid 19 pandemic in response to calls from the Gambling Commission for the industry to take further measures to address risks in game design features. It follows publication last year of a similar Code for the on-line sector.

A group of gaming machine manufacturers and operators met under the Chairmanship of Reflex’s Mat Ingram throughout the pandemic to evaluate common features found on gaming machines in light of current research, current standards and the views of those with lived experience of gambling-related harm.

One of the major changes from the adoption of the Safer Game Design Code for gaming machines will be that machines will no longer celebrate wins of less than the stake with visual or auditory fanfares.

Bacta CEO John White said: “It is significant achievement for the whole industry to reach agreement on such a broad topic. Nevertheless, the challenge was one that had to be met and we now have a Code which again demonstrates 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.”

Miles Baron CEO of the Bingo Association added: “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.”

BGC Executive Director Wes Himes added: “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.”