The latest Licence conditions and Codes of Practice report has been released by the Gambling Commission. The previous publication was released in October 2008 and came into force on the 1st January this year. The new conditions come into force on 1st May 2009. The only exemption from this date is in respect of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) Only Operators who have been given until 31st March 2010 to comply.
In brief the new rules that affect Primary Gambling Activities (and in particular bingo halls) where gaming machines are available for the public, are listed below:
- Gaming machines are allowed to be used in bingo premises but only when there is sufficient bingo available to be played
- Where bingo is provided by electronic bingo terminals or bingo machines there should be more bingo player positions available than gaming machines
- The code of Provision for Bingo as the primary gambling activity. Non-remote bingo licensees must consider frequency and extent that bingo is available to be played during opening hours:
- The ability to provide main stage bingo numbers
- Provision of facility to sell bingo tickets or cards onsite
- Bingo available to be played as advertised
- Visible prize information
- The ability for players to stop a game in the event of a win
Further amendments to bingo machines and lottery limits has also been made, the details of which are given below. This information has recently been published on the Gambling Commission website:
Bingo machines and lottery limits legislation
The Gaming Machines in Bingo Premises Order and the Variation of Monetary Limit Order were both debated in the House of Lords on 28 January 2009.
The Gaming Machines in Bingo Premises Order will increase the number of Category B3 gaming machines that bingo halls can offer customers, while the Variation of Monetary Limit Order increases the maximum proceeds for individual society lottery draws.