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Risk of privacy screens around gaming machines

A screen or pod around a gaming machine, designed to increase the privacy of the player, could be stopping your staff from effectively monitoring gaming machine play.

It is your responsibility to ensure your staff are able to effectively monitor gaming machine play for a number of reasons that are part of your licence conditions.

The Licence conditions and code of practice (LCCP) state:

‘Facilities for gambling must only be offered in a manner which provides for appropriate supervision of those facilities by staff at all times’.

Age verification, customer interaction and self-exclusion policies all require you to take into account the structure and layout of your gambling premises.

You must be able to evidence to us and your local licensing authority how you have considered the risk to the licensing objectives and implemented effective controls, prior to the introduction of any new machine arrangements.

Where you are unable to demonstrate effective controls we, or the LA, can use regulatory powers to instruct the removal of any impediments to staff carrying out their responsibilities and investigate any regulatory breaches.

Commercial motivations should never take precedence over the requirement to provide gaming machines in a safe and responsible manner.

For licensing authorities

Where you encounter atypical gaming machine arrangements, you should consider the means by which gaming machines are supervised (eg line of sight to counter, effective CCTV, mirrors or floor staff) and consider whether that is appropriate for that premises.

Whether amendments to a premises amount to a ‘material change’ warranting an application to vary the premises licence under s.187 of the Gambling Act is a matter for local determination and it is expected a common sense approach should be adopted (see 7.51 of the Guidance to licensing authorities).