Have slot machines changed bingo halls?

  • Updated
  • By Sam Coleman
Have slot machines changed bingo halls?

BBC News has released a new article which looks at the growing number of slot machines in bingo halls, and asks whether the increased numbers is causing a rise in problem gambling.

For the article (entitled ‘The slot machines that changed bingo’), the author visited an unnamed hall in east London to talk to regulars about their experiences with slot games.

One woman (going by the pseudonym Mary) explained that she had been drawn in by a big £500 jackpot win, but had since lost over £70,000 on the machines in a matter of years.

Another man (identified as an anonymous former general manager of the site) described slot machines as “legalised mugging”.

“It’s actually horrible to watch how some people gamble and lose”, he added.

While the BBC’s article is pretty scathing, it is important to remember that responsible gambling checks are in place at bingo halls and sites.

One quote from The Bingo Association states that the industry’s attitude to problem gambling has “moved on considerably”, and that staff are now properly trained to recognise and deal with addictive behaviour.

In addition, The UK Gambling Commission is currently undertaking a full review of gaming machines, and the various laws attached to them. Recommendations from this review are expected early next year, and could dramatically change the numbers of machines in halls.

Responsible gambling is very important to our industry, and groups like GambleAware and GamCare work tirelessly to ensure players have the support and help they need.

Our responsible gambling page is a good source of information for anybody in need of help, or simply wishes to read more about the subject.