The ABB’s onslaught of inflammatory statements continued this week and, as Joseph Ewens explains, it’s concerning that this strategy is starting to gain traction in the press.
This week has seen a continuation of the ABB’s verbal onslaught on the coin-op industry. When it began a few weeks ago, the ferocity of the rhetoric suggested that it was a last gasp attempt to save £100 stakes on FOBTs. Now, however, it seems that it might have been a more calculated move than it at first appeared. Not least because it’s provided perfect fodder for the national press.
The trade body’s barrage of criticism of AGCs, pubs, etc creates the image of an industry engaged in a very public war, even while Bacta refuses to be drawn into a slanging match. That’s an ‘angle’ in the journalistic vernacular, and one that a newspaper will gladly run with, especially when the likes of GambleAware are also backing up the story.
How much will it actually make any difference? Looking at the key players, it’s difficult to say. The Gambling Commission are highly unlikely to be swayed by any of this and are anyway very close to delivering their final verdict to the DCMS. Politicians, on the other hand, are far more susceptible to what’s currently making the headlines, but with the Gaming Review already well underway, the only MPs who it’s really worth influencing at this point are Tracey Crouch and, potentially her boss, Karen Bradley.