Letter to the Clerk of the Committee from the
Chief Executive, GamCare
Thank you for your letter and enclosures of 3 April
and we are pleased to respond to your request.
Our reference to 'partially effective enforcement
powers' in paragraph 60 of our consultation response relates to
the situation regarding illegally sited all cash and jackpot machines.
BACTA, the Gaming Board and GamCare (through anecdotal
evidence from helpline and counselling clients) receive, from
time to time, information that some cafes, taxi offices, snooker
clubs and other venues install 'all-cash' and/or jackpot machines.
Under current law the Gaming Board do not themselves
have the power to enforce and are reliant on the police force
to have illegally sited machines removed. The police, perhaps
understandably, do not see this as a priority area and, we understand,
this might be given an even lower priority when there are sensitive
community issues at stake. In cases where the Local Authority
takes an interest we understand enforcement is a little better.
Consequently, despite the tight regulation of these
machines that are legally sited in pubs, LBO's, gaming centres,
clubs, bingo clubs or casinos a number of unscrupulous operators
exploit the system and, to our knowledge, are rarely prosecuted.
Under proposed legislation the Gambling Commission
and Local Authorities will have power to enforce and it is to
be hoped that the number of illegally sited machines will be reduced.
May we take this opportunity to remark that, notwithstanding
the above concern, GamCare is pleased to note that the proposed
regulatory reform contains necessary safeguards to minimise harm.
3 April 2003