As UK terrestrial TV channel ITV prepares to ditch the roulette wheel that forms the centre piece of Simon Cowell’s Red Or Black? gambling show, the Gambling Commission (GC) is to recommend a tightening up of TV game show regulations.
A report by BroadcastNow states that the proposed government quango, thought to be one of the first investigations of its kind, was due to publish “advice” for broadcasters and producers on game show formats last month, but is pending as it needs a few finishing touches.
Sources in the industry have stated that the probe kicked off with concerns over the Red Or Black format and complaints that it “glamorised gambling”. Don’t they know… gambling is glamorous. Anyhow, it is stated as a fact by the sources that talks have been held by the GC regarding the controversial show.
It’s come to light that ITV will now abandon the giant roulette wheel, in which helped one lucky soul win £1m after a fortunate spin, with sources stating that if it is commissioned for a second series, it will now be replaced with a game requiring more “skill” so that the players “deserve” their win.
It is not clear if ITV’s decision to drop the wheel was the result of the GC’s lobbying or an unrelated format improvement, though rumours have spread that they could call for assurances that contestants will have to demonstrate some degree of skill to win prizes. But isn’t it just pure and simply down to luck, regardless? What skill can a player demonstrate if, say, the new format sees that a card game is employed instead? The players have no control over what cards are issued to them. The only “skill” they may use is their decision of “do I use this card, or that?” for instance. Is that really a skill?