John White, CEO of Bacta, a body representing the amusement and gaming machine industry, addressed the recent political resignations. He used the opportunity to raise the question of Britain’s gambling review white paper and ask the next government to take care of it.
White Addressed the Resignations
Chris Philp, UK’s Minister for tech and digital announced his resignation amid protests against Boris Johnson’s leadership. As a part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sports, Philp had a key role in the gambling review. Therefore, White continued, it is important for the next government to appoint a minister to oversee the “long-overdue” white paper. White added that any delays in the review will affect workers in the gaming industry.
The draft proposals have already been delayed, leaving 20,000 people who work in seaside arcades and adult gaming centers 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.
John White, CEO, Bacta
White also spoke about a recent survey by Bacta members. According to it, inflation and rising prices are top concerns. Because of that, it is crucial to open discussions on the topic with the new gambling minister. White said that Bacta strongly believes that its proposed reforms will help the industry address the costs of doing business. He also pointed out that the current laws prevent Bacta members from changing the prices of some of their products.
Bacta Proposed a Few Changes
Bacta listed a few changes it would like the Gambling Review to implement. Those include a statutory requirement to undertake a review based on evidence every three years. In addition, Bacta demands the review to allow the creation of a new long play/multi-play sub-category of B machines.
Furthermore, Bacta argues that the Secretary of State should be able to create subdivisions of Category C machines. This, the union argues, will allow the industry to innovate and usher in new products for pubs. Bacta also said such establishments shouldn’t be required to notify the authorities when they install Category C and D machines. Bacta also hopes that the Gambling review will allow machines to link together and provide more ways for customers to win a prize.
Lastly, the union demands the adoption of cashless solutions that provide players with more valid options to pay for their entertainment.