Casino operator Alrecrea, situated in Sittard, will soon open a gaming hall called Gamestate. Younger and older people can play games over there. Some people do not agree with the fact that children are also welcome at Gamestate. They call it ‘gambling for children’.
Arcadegames for young and old
The idea behind Gamestate is quite simple. People can enjoy familiar Arcadegames over here, such as Space Invaders and Pacman. So it will probably be a bit nostalgic. This is no problem for most, but there are many other games that will attract younger visitors. Think about games that can also be downloaded on the smartphone for example.
The building of Gamestate will be located in the Umi Kaiseki restaurant, at the Station Square. It can be found above café-restaurant Vrienden. The gaming hall will be quite big, namely 500 square meters. It will open its doors on Friday December 21st. However, it’s surrounded by controversy. Many people don’t like it that children can also play games over here. ‘Casino’s for children’ shouldn’t exist. State secretary Klaas Dijkhoff is worried about this development and is going to investigate the issue.
Gaming hall just like casino games?
According to critics, some games in the new gaming hall look too much like casino games. People have to pay to play, for example. When a player is successful, he or she receives vouchers, just like points in a casino. With these vouchers younger and older players can pick a prize. The prizes vary in worth, from toys to headphones and even iPads. To win big prizes, a player has to spend a lot of money. Only in that case the big vouchers become available.
Groomed for the casino
Some political parties and organizations are worried about the way Gamestate works. Gamblers Anonymous, meant for addicted gamblers, doesn’t like it as well. Madeleine van Toorenburg, a member of the Dutch Parliament, stated that children are groomed for playing in an casino when they’re adults, when gambling is allowed.
Reaction of Alcrecrea
Roel Veltmeijer, director of Alcrecrea, doesn’t agree with all the criticism. He says that there is no connection between playing in arcade halls and developing a gambling addiction. Besides that, Gamestate is mainly focused on young adults. Children aren’t the main target for them. Gamestate wants to attract young people who like to play a game before they visit the cinema, for example. These visitors usually only spend 10 to 15 euros, the director said. So ‘no Las Vegas near the Dommel’.
Investigation from the Dutch Gambling Authority
According to the director Gamestate is mainly about having fun. The prizes are nice, but just of a subordinate importance. The Dutch Gambling Authority will keep an eye on the developments. Members of the Gambling Authority will pay a visit to the gaming halls and there are meetings with organizations with people working in addiction care.