UK flag

Bacta, which represents the gaming machine and amusement industry in the UK, will give evidence to the UK government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport Committee regarding the gambling white paper’s impact on land-based gambling entertainment businesses.

On July 11 at the UK Parliament, Chief Executive John White will represent the trade association in front of the committee, which observes the policy, administration and expenditure of the DCMS.

Chaired by Conservative MP Dame Caroline Dinenage, the committee has six Tory MPs, four Labour MPs and one SNP MP. Two members – Simon Jupp, MP for East Devon and Giles Watling, MP for Clacton – have previously engaged with operators in their constituencies and therefore understand Bacta and the industry’s position in the hospitality sector.

Speaking ahead of his meeting with the committee, White highlighted that Bacta immediately began research into the White Paper’s recommendations following its release in April to see how it would impact the land-based gambling entertainment industry.

Proposals specifically analysed included the impact of a 50/50 machine ratio, the introduction of modern payment methods and planning on the projected impact of a mandatory levy covering scenarios from 0.1 per cent to 1 per cent of GGY. 

White stated: “The initial research programme has been completed with bacta members and I will be able to share with the Committee both the empirical findings and our analysis of how the White Paper recommendations will impact inward investment, employment levels, the industry’s support for high street economies and the sustainability of businesses both inland and at the coast.”

The Chief Executive also noted that the consultation period would provide essential time for Bacta to analyse the implementation of the White Paper to make sure the regulation on the industry is right.

He added: “The Secretary of State has highlighted the important community contributions made by on-land amusements and low stake gaming entertainment operators and it’s essential that the consultation process enables us to navigate the dangers of getting the implementation of the White Paper recommendations wrong. 

“The industry continues to demonstrate its ability to deliver value for money, safe, gambling entertainment and in all of our post White Paper consultations we have stressed the necessity of enabling the industry to be the very best that it can be.

“Regulation that’s fit for the digital age must, for example, permit operators to offer the payment methods that everyone else does on the high street and which customers expect to have in 2023.”

Last month, the Gambling Related Harm APPG launched a White Paper inquiry to ensure that changes can be achieved to safeguard and improve UK gambling.