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Safer Game Design Code Eliminates Some Gamification Features


A Safer Game Design Code for gaming machines in land-based gaming establishments was finalized by three gaming sector trading bodies last week.

‘Commitment to Socially Responsible Recreational Gaming’

The Safer Game Design Code finalized by the British Amusement Catering Trade Association (BACTA), the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) and The Bingo Association is a cross-sector initiative that started before the pandemic as the industry was looking to respond to the Gambling Commission’s call to minimize gambling risk in game design features.

“We welcome this Code as another example of industry-driving higher standards to address the issues of risk and we will continue to introduce further measures based on evidence in our fight to prevent harm.”

Wes Himes, Executive Director, BGC

Hailing the agreement as a “significant achievement for the whole industry,” BACTA CEO John White outlined that, despite the challenges faced, the industry is now equipped with a Code that demonstrates its “commitment to socially responsible recreational gaming.”

“It adds to a long list of industry initiatives that have played their part in reducing problem gambling rates to the historically low level of 0.2% of the population,” White concluded, referring to the statistics released by the Gambling Commission earlier in the month.

The initiative spearheaded by Reflex Gaming’s chief product officer Mat Ingram saw a group of gaming machine manufacturers and operators meet and discuss risky game design features in gaming machines, considering the latest research in the field, safer gambling standards, as well as lived experience from people who have suffered gambling harm.

Insignificant Winnings without Gamification Features

The code implementation will eliminate the auditory and visual effects featured in gambling machines across the land-based gaming sector to celebrate game winnings of less than the initial stake as part of the game design changes.

On behalf of The Bingo Association, chief executive officer Miles Baron outlined the association’s support for the code while pointing out that the partnership with BACTA and the BGC demonstrates “the ability of the land-based sector” to unite and “strengthen gambling protocols” when required.

The Safer Game Design Code finalized by the industry’s trade bodies followed in the footsteps of a similar code the gaming industry approved for its online sector.

The Game Design Code of Conduct introduced by the BGC in September 2020 included a slowing down of the speed of gaming and mandatory play breaks, eliminating turbo and multi-slot play, as well as some of the gamification features, and improved access to safer gambling information.

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