In reaction to Boris Johnson’s and Chris Philp’s resignation from government, John White, CEO of bacta, said: “The next government should seek to appoint a minister to oversee the long-overdue Gambling Review White Paper as soon as possible. The draft proposals have already been delayed, leaving 20,000 people who work in seaside arcades and adult gaming centres across the UK in limbo. Any potential further delay would come at an increasingly difficult time for the industry, with rising energy prices and inflation damaging these often small and family-run businesses. A recent survey of bacta members revealed that recruiting and rising prices were very top concerns. We are very much open to further discussions with the new government and the new gambling minister, and strongly believe that our proposed reforms will help the industry address the costs of doing business, especially since, by law, our members currently cannot raise some of the prices they charge consumers.”
Overall, bacta would like to see the Gambling Review implement the following:
- A statutory requirement to undertake an evidence-led review at least every three years
- Permit creation of a new long play/multi-play sub-category of B machines
- Grant the Secretary of State the power to create subdivisions of Category C machines, as can be done with Category B machines, to allow industry innovation, particularly for the pub markets
- Permit machines in Adult Gaming Centres, bingo halls, pubs and clubs to link together to provide another way for a customer to win a prize
- Introduce cashless payments to empower consumers and enable them to pay for entertainment in the same way that they would pay for any other goods or services
- End the bureaucracy of notifying local authorities when pubs exercise their legal entitlement to provide two Category C or D gaming machines and raise that automatic entitlement to four.