Protecting the Young..
A lot of work has been done to protect the young and venerable from playing gaming machines and rightly so. Fruit machines have not been allowed in takeaways, cafes or chip shops or other similar places where children have access to.
Pubs and social clubs are required to have their gaming machines either within sight of the bar or monitored by CCTV and staff to ensure anyone underage on the premises do not play the machines. The age of which to play these machines is 18. (Eighteen years old).
We own and operate two adult gaming centre in Birmingham and Derby, where our customers come in solely to play the gaming machines. Therefore we have gained a lot of experience of what machines people like to play. In our amusement arcades, we decided many years ago to have a 21 year old minimum policy. It keeps all of our regular customers happy and also makes it easier for our staff to spot any underage customers, as we all know young lads these days are over 6ft with beards growing but are only 16 or 17!
It does then bewilder me that with all this hard work fruit machine companies are doing to stop underage gambling, then the Government let 16 and 17 year old walk into a shop and spend £1 and up to £10 on a single scratch card to gamble. From the stories we hear it does not stop at that.
Fruit machines do get some bad press but with all the regulation in place, gaming operators work hard to ensure underage gambling does not go on in their premises. These days to gamble on a fruit machine you have to visit a place with a licensed bar. Like a pub, social club, bingo hall and casino, or a registered gambling venue like an adult gaming centre.
This brings me to the story behind this blog. Whilst visiting the “real” Father Christmas in Lapland, Finland in December (and Yes, I was on the good list), I was amazed to see rows of gaming machines in corner shops and supermarkets.
As you can see from the photos the machines are next to the fridges, as you pop in for a pint of milk or a bar of chocolate you can have a gamble!
It just goes to show, that whilst we are a very liberal gambling country, we also do plenty to ensure the young people do not play gaming machines.