Bill Miller, AGA: unregulated skill machines should be eliminated

Bill Miller, President and CEO of the American Gaming Association, has suggested that unregulated ‘skill’ gaming machines should be removed from all locations across the United States.

The comments come alongside a fresh wave of data being published by the group, which highlights that, of those familiar with such machines, 65 per cent suggest that they are similar to slot machines and are in fact recognisable as games of chance and not skill.

Furthermore, it is also reported that Americans are increasingly concerned of the associated dangers of such unregulated machines, which are also said to be “overwhelmingly” viewed as negative community influences. 

“Unregulated machine manufacturers have built their businesses by duping consumers and small businesses while avoiding taxes, oversight and consumer protections,” Miller said. 

“These results are further evidence that Americans see these machines as a threat that should be eliminated, not regulated.”

Further findings include 71 per cent stating that these lack the player protections that are available to players in casinos, with 64 per cent agreeing that ‘skill’ machines are too easily accessible to children.

In addition, 56 per cent reported that these games increase the risk of crime and endanger employees and customers of businesses where devices are located.

Often found in convenience stores, bars, strip malls and other community establishments, previous AGA research estimated that approximately 580,651 unregulated gambling machines exist in the US, which would account for 40 per cent of all similar offerings nationwide.

“Keeping America’s gaming industry strong, safe and responsible can only be done through the robust infrastructure of the well-established legal market, not by rewarding bad actors with half-measures that fail to address the dangers of unregulated gambling,” it was added.

AGA findings show for every dollar bet by consumers, regulated machines in Nevada keep 7.2 cents on average, while unregulated machines keep 25 cents.

Americans reportedly wager $109bn each year with unregulated ‘skill’ machines according to AGA estimates, at an annual cost of $8.7bn in state taxes and $27bn in legal gaming revenue.