The gambling regulatory body in the Netherlands, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), requested all games of chance be removed from family arcade halls, so that no minors can get in touch with them, and the branch association Family Entertainment Centers (FEC) Nederland agreed.
An initial research conducted by the KSA in 2017 and a follow-up one recently showed that these amusement centers which are meant to provide games and entertainment for children and parents alike still feature games of chance, the so-called fairground machines. A fairground machine is essentially a game of chance machine which does not pay winnings in cash but in other forms of prizes such as coupons and physical items, with a prize value of up to 40 times the amount of the stake.
Fairground Machines Are Games of Chance
The KSA has been in discussions with the industry regarding these machines which operate without a special permit or inspection under the 1964 Games of Chance Act. The regulator argued that the legislation envisioned vending machines at travelling fairs and amusement parks, as lawmakers did not consider the probability of developing a gambling addiction as the amount of time people stay at such places is relatively short.
Another concern for the regulator was that the number of such family arcades has grown recently, and with it the number of games of chance machines, making it easier for minors to have a contact with a gaming machine with a gambling character.
FEC Nederlands outlined in a letter to the KSA that it would undertake the necessary steps to remove from all family arcades any types of games of chance. The industry body which represents 70% of all family arcades in the Netherlands further noted that, despite that minors were already forbidden from playing machines with games of chance, the presence of such machines at the amusement centers was making it difficult to monitor the activity across the country.
FEC Wants Machines with Gambling Element Out of the Country
Hence, the association is taking measures which would eventually lead to the disappearance of these games from the family amusement centers. FEC outlined that its members are subject to an annual audit which would also examine their compliance regarding the requirement for removing any types of games of chance from their establishments.
Non-members and suppliers of such games have been informed about the association’s plans and encouraged to go along with them, as FEC is determined to see all fairground machines with a gambling character disappear from the country within 10 years at the latest.
FEC Nederlands goes even further in its letter to the KSA, asking the regulator to initiate a change in legislation so that any types of fairground machines with a gambling element are no longer allowed, a plea the KSA fully endorses.