Removal of gaming machines

Removal of gaming machines from family arcades in a bid to reduce underage gambling supported by the Dutch regulator KSA.

The Dutch regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has lent its support to proposals to remove gaming machines from family arcades with the aim to reduce access by underage players.

The plan has been put forward by Family Entertainment Centers Nederland, which represents 70 per cent of Holland’s family arcades.

The venues it represents host a wide range of arcade games, skill games and machines like pinball and air hockey, many of which are aimed at all the family.

Minors are not allowed to play on the centres’ machines that are based on games of chance, but the organisation recognised that the restriction was difficult to monitor and control.

It has announced that the venues it represents will not purchase any more machines based on games of chance and all of those currently in operation will be removed within the next ten years.

It has also called on the government to amend legislation to make the removal of gaming machines compulsory and has contacted suppliers and non-members to encourage them to join the initiative.

Arcades will still be able to host games of skill and “fairground games” that pay out prizes other than money.

The KSA said it agreed that the current laws on games of chance machines in family arcades, which stem from the Games of Chance Act 1964, failed to protect minors.

It said: “The legislator, who made this law in 1964, envisioned vending machines at traveling fairs and in amusement and holiday parks. The risk of developing gambling addiction in places where people stay for a short time was considered small.

“The exception means that no model permission and operating permit are required for fairground machines. The disadvantage of this is that proper supervision is not possible.”

The KSA said that the number of permanent entertainment centres in the country, including family arcades, had increased significantly, resulting in gaming machines becoming more readily accessible to minors.

It said: “FEC Netherlands argues for amendment of the legislation so that fairground machines with games of chance are no longer possible; the KSA endorses this plea.”

The KSA has recently announced the appointment of a prominent academic as its new gambling addiction advisor.

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