Consultation: Machine standards for category C and complex category D


This paper sets out the Gambling Commission's (the Commission) proposals for a series of amendments to the Machine Standards Category C & Complex Category D (the standards). If implemented, the amendments would apply to category C gaming machines only. The purpose of the standards is to set out in detail the Commission's requirements with respect to game features, display notices and general machine operation including metering. The standards have been developed to help ensure that the Commission's three licensing objectives are met. Since June 2009 category C machines have operated with maximum limits of £1 stake and £70 prize. The standards were amended in June 2009 when changes were made to provisions relating to game links and speed of play, in recognition of the changes to the stake and prize limits. The Commission proposed a number of options: For minimum speed of play, to incorporate minimum regardless of stake of either 1.5 seconds (option A) or one second (option B); to reduce the minimum altogether (option C); or to maintain the status quo (option D). It also proposed to reduce the average speed of play from 3.0 to 2.5 seconds per hour for all stakes on a category C machine. The majority of respondents preferred option B. Following the response from the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board, the Commission argued that a minimum average duration taken over one hour should be scaled between 1.25 seconds for a 50p stake and 2.5 seconds for a £1 stake. In regards to live jackpots, the Commission proposed to allow the live jackpot to be incremented in values which can be paid by means of the machine. However, the standards will retain the existing controls such that the value of the live jackpot cannot be ramped up in manner which is not in proportion to stake played or allow any form of predictability. These proposals were supported by respondents. In regards to game links, the Commission proposed to permit game links to be awarded on a 100% basis after losing games. All respondents indicated support for the proposed amendments.

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