Bacta calls for regulatory sandbox to allow trials of new products

Greg Wood spoke at Bacta
Greg Wood spoke at Bacta

The association wants the British amusement sector to have the flexibility to be able to try out new gaming machine innovations.

UK.- Greg Wood, president of the British Amusement Catering Trade Association, which represents adult gaming arcades and other amusement premises in the UK, has called for more flexibility to trial new products and solutions.

He wants the UK government to create a regulatory sandbox for machine development to allow the sector to innovate.

Speaking at Bacta’s annual general meeting, Wood complained that the sector was “currently restrained, restricted, and controlled by outdated and blunt legislation“. 

He said that in Bacta’s submission to the government’s review of UK gambling legislation, it proposed a two-step process that would give operators more impetus and flexibility to create new products and services.

He said: “We must have the opportunity to try and develop new ideas in the real world. Our position is that we need flexibility, to introduce and enable this innovation.

“This is where our approach for a two-stage process or regulatory sandboxes for development comes in; setting the legislation up for the future, giving the ability to test new machines in venues, and to review the data and impacts of this in a controlled way.

“This will allow us to then provide the data that we are always asked for, but so far have been unable to provide on new concepts and technologies.”

New proposals for gaming machines

Wood also proposed the reintroduction of regular reviews of stakes and prizes, saying that operators had lost some of the ability to update their products.

He also said it was “critical” to lift the ban on debit card payments to gaming machines due to the UK’s increasing move towards a cashless society.

He suggested category C gaming machines should be divided for the development of new products, and that the number of gaming machines permitted in premises that have alcohol licences should be increased from two to four and that jackpots should be allowed to be linked in all venues.

He said: “To borrow a phrase from Boris, we need to build back better. With most of us looking forward at how we can rebuild, reinvent, and continue to offer the best to our customers, the building back better has already started.

“It is amazing to see the levels of investment that have already been made post reopening.”

See also: Bacta creates new working group on machine gaming standards

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