Thorpe Park games ‘exposed’ by BBC programme

A BBC documentary is to reveal the “underhand tactics” used by Thorpe Park to reduce chances of winning at its game stalls.

Your Money, Their Tricks – shown on BBC One at 8pm – reveals tactics used to adjust the odds of winning some games.

Thorpe Park operator Merlin Entertainments subcontracts out the running of the game stalls at all of its theme parks to the HB Leisure company.

The programme covertly records managers explaining how the number of winners should be managed, with one stating that a target amount of money should be made before a prize is “lost” to the public.

National newspapers are this morning publishing articles citing the BBC programme as identifying a number of “tricks” being utilised.

Staff were reported as using one type of ball to demonstrate how the game could be won, then giving the customer a different type with which to attempt to win a prize.

Using wax on a game’s surface to increase friction and distracting people as they threw balls at a target making it harder to knock blocks off were also cited as methods.

HB leisure managing director Alex Sparks denied that his company’s games were unfair.

“We utterly refute any suggestions that any of our games are not fair and we had provided detailed information, explanations and evidence to the programme, in advance, to prove this,” he said.

“But the BBC decided to ignore much of this information and has therefore presented a biased and incorrect view of the games.

“”The rare instances where staff behaviour or games fell below standard were immediately checked and remedied.”