HL Deb 15 July 1998 vol 592 cc34-5WA
Lord Williams of Elvel

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will announce the outcome of the triennial review of gaming machine stake and prize limits. [HL2826]

Lord Williams of Mostyn

The Gaming Board has reviewed machine stake and prize limits and made recommendations to the Home Office.

We have accepted its recommendations. My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Mr. George Howarth, intends to make the necessary statutory instruments to come into force on 1 October.

The following maximum stake and prize limits will apply: the all-cash amusement-with-prizes (AWP) machine prize will be increased from £10 to £15; the prizes for the cash/token AWP machines will be left unchanged at £5 for the cash and £8 for the non-monetary prizes; the prizes for jackpot machines will be increased from £250 to £500 in bingo clubs and £1,000 in casinos and left unchanged at £250 in members clubs; the 30p stake for AWP machines will be left unchanged and that for jackpot machines will be increased to 50p.

The Gaming Board's main underlying thinking, which we endorse, is to keep machines to which children are allowed access at low prize levels; work with the industry to prevent children gaining access to all-cash machines, with the prospect of a more liberal future regime if that can be achieved; and recognise that higher prizes are appropriate in gambling clubs.

I have placed in the Library the Gaming Board's report of its review which explains in detail the consultation with interested organisations and its conclusions.