We all know how narrow a window of opportunity can be and, argues Chris Webster, BACTA must not miss the one currently presenting itself.
In another and alternate parallel universe, away from the trials and tribulations of cobbling copy together for this worthy rag,I do a bit of acting.
It’s a fickle whore of a business. I’ve been arrested for murder, saved by Father Brown only to commit suicide by cyanide pill. I’ve been shot, battered and beaten to a pulp by DCI Banks. And then, after all that grief, I recovered to find myself spying for the British army in the US series Turn.
Unfortunately, that familar pattern re-emerged; I was caught,avoided execution by offering to be a double agent and then slung in prison pending my duplicitous,double treachery option. Those bloody Americans – don’t they know how important I am to winning the 1812 war!
I know all about being on the receiving end of a battering. Which brings me, in an odd segue, to the subject of Bacta, who have turned around many years under fire,into an undeniably triumphant 2018.
For not only did the trade association manage to topple the FOBT’s (profoundly negative) grip on the high-street punter, but in the process it raised its profile on the national level:forging links with the Gambling Commission, government ministers,and other legislators in both houses of government. In the words of BACTA president Gabi Stergides in last week’s edition:“where we were just a few years ago and where we are today, they’re just night and day apart.”
I was once given a piece of advice from an old acting veteran, who told me:“Chris, in this business, wait until you’re given your platform – and then bloody well shout your head off.”
I’d suggest BACTA do the very same,by cashing in on the enhanced profile it currently enjoys. God knows exposure of this ilk can be transitory, and there’s much to be done.After all,if parliamentary assets like new industry ally Carolyn Harris MP can be levelled at other pressing issues facing the trade – the dire need for updated machine standards not withstanding – then British amusements may actually start to get the legislative backdrop the likes of which it has long been deprived.
So go on BACTA. The curtain’s up. And the stage is yours.