Adult Gaming Centres (AGC’s) in the UK are taking advantage of UK Gambling Legislation that allows them to convert sections of their arcades into betting shops.
According to UK legislation, an AGC is allowed to place up to four Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBT’s) within a single location. These machines have popular games like Roulette, Bingo, and slot games and require a fixed minimum bet of up to £100, providing limited pay-outs to players.
Taking advantage of UK legislation, Nick Harding, CEO of Praesepe, a leader in the AGC market in the UK with 159 locations, recently wrote to the British Amusement Catering Trade Association (Bacta) applying for licences for four FOBT’s for his arcade in Watford. This will effectively allow a section of his business at the location to function as a betting shop.
According to the Independent, Adrian Parkinson from the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, believes that a simple solution to avoid the proliferation of FOBT’s could be cutting down the minimum bets, from £100 per game to £2.
The potential widespread availability of gaming machines on the high street, strikes concern amongst anti-gambling groups in the UK who compare FOBT’s to crack and cocaine, believing them to be dangerous to society.
During an interview with the Guardian, Simon Thomas, owner of Hippodrome Casino, questioned the fact that gaming companies will be allowed to create hard gambling products on the street while establishments like his have age control, door staff, and £5 betting limits,.
There were 33,319 FOBT’s in the UK in 2012 and this trend will continue to rise bringing more consumers out of land-based casinos onto the high streets if there is no effective change in legislature.