New rules for seaside arcades this summer
Date: 2 June
The Gambling Commission is reminding seaside arcade operators of
their new responsibilities under the Gambling Act 2005 as the
summer season steps up a gear following the Whitsun Bank Holiday
This summer is the first full season in which new laws that were
introduced last September, designed to ensure gambling operators
operate in a socially responsible manner, apply to gambling
operators in seaside resorts.
The Gambling Act brought in the new rules designed to protect
children and vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by
gambling, to keep gambling crime free and fair and open. The rules
include requirements to prevent underage gambling and make
information readily available to players on how to gamble
responsibly and how to access information about, and help in
respect of, problem gambling.
The Commission's nationwide team of compliance managers have
already been working with local authorities in seaside resorts as
Gambling Commission Director of Operations, Nick Tofiluk
"Seaside arcades need to operate within these rules which offer
important protections for children and vulnerable people.
"Over the summer the Commission and local authorities will be
working together in coastal areas to ensure operators are properly
licensed or have permits and are operating in line with the new law
that was brought in last year.
"That work is already underway and if operators are in any doubt
about the requirements they should contact the Commission without
Since 1 September 2007 arcade operators can only operate if they
are properly licensed to do so. Operators of arcades containing
machines with prizes between £35 and £500 must be licensed by both
the Gambling Commission and their local licensing authority.
Operators of arcades restricted to machines with stakes set at 30p
or lower and cash prizes of £5 or non-cash prizes of £8 or lower
require a permit from their local authority.
The Gambling Commission can prosecute those offering gambling
illegally and suspend or revoke the licence of any operator who
fails to comply with its Licence Conditions and Codes of
Notes to editors
The Gambling Commission
- 1. The Gambling Commission (the Commission) regulates gambling
in the public interest. It does so by keeping crime out of
gambling, by ensuring that gambling is conducted fairly and openly,
and by protecting children and vulnerable people from being harmed
or exploited by gambling. The Commission also provides independent
advice to government on gambling in Britain.
- 2. The Commission is responsible for licensing and regulating
all gambling in Great Britain other than the National Lottery and
spread betting, which are the responsibility of the National
Lottery Commission and the Financial Services Authority (FSA)
- 3. Full details of the Commission's Licence Conditions and
Codes of Practice can be found on this website.
- 4. The Commission has already conducted co-ordinated visits to
resorts on the East Coast in conjunction with East Lindsay District
Council in Skegness and Great Yarmouth Borough Council in Great
- 5. No Enforcement cases resulted from the initial visits which
found many operators had taken the necessary steps but repeat
visits have been necessary in some cases to ensure full compliance
with the requirements.
- 6. This work on the East Coast is part of a wider programme of
activity across Britain which includes other seaside resorts.
Further information is available from the Commission’s
Press office: John Travers or Laura
McCaughey on (0121) 230 6700
Out of hours: (07852) 124624