While Bacta continues to keep the pressure on MPs concerning the implementation of the £2 stake for FOBTS, there is more to the association’s dialogue with UK parliamentarians. Brexit and coastal investment were very high on the agenda when Welsh constituency MPs met with Bacta delegates last week.
Concerns surrounding the impact of Brexit on the manufacturing sector, the delay in implementing the £2 maximum FOBT stake and the need for infrastructure investment in coastal resorts were among the topics discussed at the recent Parliamentary Luncheon organised by Bacta and attended by members with businesses in Wales and their constituency MPs.
The first Bacta Parliamentary luncheon of 2018 saw National President, Gabi Stergides, chief executive John White, chairman of the South Wales region, John Bollom and Division 4 members John Stergides (Electrocoin) and Phil Burke (Astra Games), host five Members of Parliament comprising Carolyn Harris (Labour: Swansea East), Gerald Jones (Labour: Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney), Chris Davies (Conservative: Brecon and Radnorshire), Madeline Moon (Labour: Bridgend) and Tonia Antoniazzi (Labour: Gower).
Explaining the role and importance of the Parliamentary Luncheons, John White said: “There’s a lot of political lobbying that Bacta undertakes in partnership with its advisers to drive home the key arguments of the day and their macro impact on the industry. A case in point is the FOBT campaign that we ran and which was supported with such vigour by Carolyn Harris MP and parliamentary colleagues Iain Duncan Smith and Sir Peter Bottomley.
“In tandem with these activities it’s also really important for MPs to be able to sit down alongside their constituents to hear about the issues they have to deal with on a daily basis and which impact their ability to run successful businesses employing local people. The issue of poverty in Wales was an important discussion point that everyone could contribute to. As well as the specifics relating to the outrageous and immoral delay in implementing the £2 stake and in particular the practical insight provided by Bacta members, we were also able to debate the next steps in trying to differentiate an industry whose currency is fun from the toxic reputation that’s been generated by FOBTs on the high street. Bacta’s Parliamentary Luncheons are a hugely worthwhile initiative and one which MPs appreciate greatly.”