6. The Government's policy objective in proposing
this draft order is to change the way in which money can be paid
into and out of certain categories of gaming machine, namely jackpot
machines and higher-value amusement-with-prizes (AWP) machines.
The Department states that this reform would allow "more
flexibility for customers and operators."
It also proposes to increase the monetary amounts which may be
inserted into such gaming machines at any one time, and to relax
two present restrictions on the operation of such machines: one
which requires a jackpot machine to pay out winnings immediately,
and one which in effect requires all gaming machines to accept
payment for a single play.
7. The Government proposes to make more wide-ranging
reforms to the law on gambling by means of a Gambling Bill, which
would replace the 1968 Act. This follows the independent review
of gambling law carried out by Sir Alan Budd, the results of which
were published in March 2002.
The Department intends the Bill to provide a major restructuring
of the present systems of licensing, control and classification
of gaming machines. The proposed new categories of gaming machine
to be established by means of the Bill are set out in paragraphs
43 to 47 of the explanatory statement. In respect of the present
proposal, the Department expects that the Bill will replicate
the effect of the proposed reform of gaming machine payment methods.
The existing legislation
8. Part III of the 1968 Act permits only three types
of gaming machine which can accept money for play and pay out
prizes. It also sets maximum stakes and prizes for each type of
machine: the Secretary of State may vary these maxima by regulations.
The three types of machine are set out below.
9. Jackpot machines are found in licensed
casinos, bingo clubs and registered clubs. The maximum stake a
player can insert for a single play is presently 50p.
The maximum prize which a jackpot machine may pay out is determined
according to its location: £2000 in a casino, £1000
in a bingo club, and £250 in a registered club.
The industry estimates that there are at present 26,200 jackpot
machines in operation in clubs and casinos in Great Britain, and
a further 200 in operation in licensed bingo halls.
10. Higher-value amusement-with-prizes (AWP) machines
are also found in some clubs and casinos as well as in bingo halls,
and may additionally be found in adult-only environments, such
as pubs, betting shops and areas of amusement arcades which are
restricted to over-18s. They are sometimes known as "all-cash"
AWP machines, as they are presently required to pay out winnings
in cash rather than tokens. The maximum stake a player can insert
for a single play is 30p.
The maximum prize which a higher-value AWP machine may pay out
11. The industry estimates that there are 166,300
higher-value AWP machines in operation in Great Britain. This
total is broken down by location as follows:
|Category of site
||Total number of machines per category*
||Estimated number of
machines per site
|Liquor licensed premises||74,700
|Licensed betting offices||14,600
|Licensed bingo clubs||27,300
|Clubs and casinos||0*
* Figures have been rounded to the nearest 100
Source: Regulatory Impact Assessment (explanatory statement, annex
12. Lower-value amusement-with-prizes (AWP) machines are
found in family arcades, cafes and leisure centres with a local
authority permit. The maximum stake a player can insert for a
single play is 30p.
The maximum prize which a lower-value AWP may pay out is presently
£5 in cash or £8 in tokens.
The Department has indicated that the proposed regulatory reform
order is not intended to affect lower-value AWP machines.
Extent of the proposal's application
13. The 1968 Act, which the Government seeks to amend by means
of the proposal, extends to England, Wales and Scotland. The regulation
of gaming in Wales and Scotland is a matter reserved to the Secretary
of State. The proposal would therefore have effect across the
whole of Great Britain.
3 Explanatory statement, para 2 Back
A Safe Bet for Success: modernising Britain=s gambling laws,
Department for Culture, Media and Sport, March 2002 Back
Section 31(3) of the 1968 Act Back
Regulations made by the Secretary of State under section 31(5)
of the Act Back
Section 34(2) of the 1968 Act Back
Sections 34(5C) and (5D) of the Act, as amended by order made
by the Secretary of State Back
Section 34(2) of the 1968 Act Back
Section 34(3) of the 1968 Act Back