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Amusement Arcades

Volume 115: debated on Wednesday 6 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has decided to initiate research into the use young people make of amusement arcades and the possible addictive effect of the machines found there; and if he will make a statement.

As part of our review of the law on amusement arcades, I have decided to initiate a research project which will examine the extent of the use which young people make of amusement machines in arcades and other places, whether there are signs that they become addicted to playing the machines found there and whether there is evidence of machines leading to anti-social behaviour or criminal behaviour. It is hoped that the research will be completed by early next year.In addition, I have asked the chairman of the Gaming Board if he will arrange for a report to be prepared on amusement arcades in the light of the concern which has been expressed. To this end, Gaming Board inspectors will be making a number of visits to arcades over the next six months.These steps are being taken in order to assess whether there is hard evidence of social problem which might justify new controls on amusement arcades. I look forward to considering the results and have no plans at present for fresh legislation on this subject.