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Members of Bacta, the British amusement machine association, are going to ban under-18s from playing Category D cash fruit machines in seaside arcades and family entertainment centres.

Approved by Bacta Division 1 members at the organisation’s extraordinary general meeting this week, the proposal will be ratified at the annual general meeting on 26 November, before coming into effect from 1 March next year.

Bacta president James Miller said the new age restriction would send a message to customers that family seaside amusement arcades are safe environments for all families.

“Our members are all about providing fun and entertainment to the whole family as part of their annual holiday or day trip to the seaside,” James Miller said.

“We take social responsibility extremely seriously and although Category D cash payout fruit machines operate at very low stake and prize limits which are predominately played by adults for fun and nostalgia, we wanted to do our utmost and limit any potential risks to gambling harm,” James Miller added.

“Category D fruit machines have been long considered as part of the entertainment offer associated with seaside holidays and a trip to the arcade. Regulators in the past have therefore not imposed an age restriction on them,” John White, chief executive of Bacta, said.

“However, our members understand that perceptions change and we want to ensure that we do everything possible to protect players,” John White added.

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