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A New Era for UK Gaming Arcades: Embracing the Government’s Machine Ratio Proposals



The UK government’s proposed changes to gaming machine ratios represent a significant opportunity for the country’s arcades and bingo halls. Endorsed by Bacta and its President John Bollom, these changes are poised to foster a more competitive, innovative, and resilient gaming and leisure sector. As Bacta continues to advocate for the industry’s interests and strengthen its support for members, the future looks bright for UK gaming arcades and bingo halls, promising an era of renewed growth and prosperity.

A Welcome Change for the Gaming Sector

John Bollom, the President of Bacta, the UK’s leading trade association for gaming halls, has publicly endorsed the Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s proposed changes to gaming machine allowances. This move signifies a pivotal moment for the UK’s gaming and leisure industry, potentially heralding a new era of prosperity and innovation for arcades and bingo halls across the country.

Understanding the Proposed Ratio Changes

At the heart of the government’s consultation is the proposed 3:1 ratio of Category B3 gaming machines to Category C and D machines. With Category B3 machines allowing a maximum stake of £2 and a maximum payout of £500, this change aims to provide a balanced and competitive product mix for operators while maintaining the industry’s commitment to low stake, low prize entertainment.

The Optimal Mix for a Competitive Edge

Bacta’s submission to the government’s consultation underscores the belief that the proposed ratio would deliver the “optimum mix” of gaming products. This adjustment is seen as crucial for the industry to remain competitive, especially in the wake of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic pressures.


Supporting Recovery and Fostering Innovation

Bollom’s response to the consultation highlights a broader vision for the sector’s recovery and future growth. The liberalization of machine ratios is viewed as a necessary step to support the amusement and gaming center (AGC) sector, stimulate innovation, and drive investment. This regulatory flexibility is expected to empower operators to better meet customer needs and adapt to changing market dynamics.

Bacta’s Agile Response and Expert Insight

The effective engagement of Bacta’s Gaming Council in the consultation process exemplifies the organization’s agile and dynamic approach to advocacy. Under the leadership of Peter Davies, the council provided comprehensive analysis and insights, demonstrating Bacta’s capacity to influence progressive regulation and champion the interests of the gaming and leisure industry.

Strengthening Member Support through Strategic Appointments

In tandem with policy advocacy, Bacta continues to enhance its organizational structure and member support services. The appointment of Robert Gibb as Executive Director of Commercial is a testament to Bacta’s commitment to providing unparalleled support to its members. Gibb’s expanded role signifies a strategic push to elevate the services offered to Bacta members, further solidifying the association’s position as a pivotal force in the industry.


Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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