Bacta president welcomes UK government policy on gaming machine allowances

Bacta has submitted its view on the government
Bacta has submitted its view on the government

John Bollom says proposals would provide an “optimum mix” of products for gaming arcades.

UK.- John Bollom, the president of the UK gaming hall trade association Bacta, has welcomed the UK government Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s proposals for the gaming machine ratio at arcades and bingo halls.

The government is undertaking a supplementary consultation on the ratio of Category B3 gaming machines to Category C and D machines. Category B3 machines have a maximum stake of £2, a maximum payout of £500, and a 2.5-second minimum game cycle. The government is proposing a 3:1 ratio.

Bacta said in its submission that the proposed maximum of up to three B3 machines for every one Cat C/D would deliver “the optimum mix of products in order for the industry to be competitive at the same time as retaining its low stake, low prize gambling entertainment credentials”.

Bollom said: “In terms of the detail I should stress that this represents a maximum figure: if operators wanted fewer B3s they of course retain that option. Overall the publication of the supplementary consultation on machine numbers must be considered as a positive step. In particular we welcome the conclusion that action should be taken to support the AGC sector which is still experiencing significant commercial challenges following Covid and the spike in energy and other costs.

“We endorse the conclusion that liberalisation is required in order to support recovery, to ensure that regulation is fit for the future and that operators have the freedom to meet customer needs and in the process stimulate innovation, investment and growth.”

He added: “I also welcome the contributions made by Bacta’s Gaming Council. When we embarked on the restructure process and presented the proposals for a streamlined Bacta to members an important part of the rationale for change was to create a more agile and dynamic organisation capable of responding to scenarios such as this. The expert insight provided by the Gaming Council led by Peter Davies enabled us to provide DCMS with the detail and the analysis required to inform progressive regulation. Having the ability to respond swiftly and with authority represents a major positive and will underpin our engagement with government and our regulators.”

Robert Gibb named Bacta executive director of commercial

Meanwhile, Bacta has announced the appointment of Robert Gibb as executive director of commercial. He will retain his previous duties of head of finance and operations while also overseeing of Bacta’s team of membership support officers.

Gibb said: “I am excited to be taking on this new role and look forward to working with Bacta’s outstanding team of MSOs to continue to raise the support we provide.”

Bollom said: “I would heartily congratulate Rob on his promotion as Executive Director – Commercial. He has done an outstanding job for Bacta in recent years in overseeing our organisation and finances. National Council is confident he will drive forward continued enhancements in the services we provide to members.” 

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bacta gambling regulation