UK's Gambling Machines Updated With Calming Time Out Measures

By Gary Cutlack on at

The Betting and Gaming Council is a brand new organisation that's been formed to look after the interests of those who run the controversial modern money-taking devices, and its very first decision is to try to convince a disbelieving public that it's now using intelligent software controls to restrict the playing habits of the most addicted gamblers.

The BGC says its Anonymous Player Awareness System uses some sort "real-time algorithm" to identify potentially troubled players who risk losing their everythings. The system probably does little more than chart spend over time, as the aim of it is to lock the machine down for 30 seconds when a player goes over certain losing limits or hammers through the available play options a bit too quickly.

The software was installed as an update to such digital machines running in William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and Betfred gambling chains this month, with the new system also pinging an alert to staff behind the counter when a machine activates its time lock. The BGC say this should trigger a Responsible Gambling Interaction event -- where bookmaker staff are forced to "come out to check you're OK and have a discussion with you," a conversation which we imagine might go something along the lines of "Shit, man, you're doomed! Try doubling down on the red flashing beef burger next time." [BBC]