MERKUR UK has been at the vanguard of the industry’s campaign to help inform MPs and improve awareness of the sector. In the lead-up to recess the brand hosted four MPs in as many weeks.
MERKUR UK’s local engagement campaign continued ahead of parliament’s summer recess with the company’s Director of Public and Political Relations, Tony Boulton and Head of Compliance Amanda Kiernan, hosting four MP’s in their constituencies. The quartet comprised Dean Russell, the Conservative MP for Watford, Gary Sambrook, Conservative MP for Birmingham Northfield, Stuart Anderson, Conservative MP for Wolverhampton, and most recently, Pete Wishart who is the longest serving SNP MP and represents Perth and North Perthshire.
Reflecting on the programme, which stretched from Perth to Watford, Tony Boulton said: “It’s been a very busy period during which we have managed to show four MPs from different political persuasions exactly what it is that we offer communities quite literally the length and the breadth of the country. 350 miles separate the MERKUR Slots venues in Perth and Watford but the quality of the welcome, the professionalism of the staff, the customer experience that we offer and the set-in tablets of stone commitment to safer gambling – remain absolutely consistent and of the highest standard.
“During the COVID restrictions we have been undertaking our MP meetings via Zoom but the ability to now meet in-venue has elevated what we are able to achieve.
“Typically, our meetings last anything between 30 minutes and an hour during which we are able to explain the differences between our form of high street gaming entertainment and the offering provided by LBOs, the investment we are making on the high street courtesy of new openings and refurbishments, our absolute commitment to the communities our venues serve and most importantly the delivery of safer gambling through MERKUR UK’s ground-breaking 360 Program.
“We have now completed 25 MP engagements and what’s abundantly clear is the huge educational challenge that faces the industry particularly as the government undertakes its review of gambling. The MPs that we’ve engaged with arrive not knowing quite what to expect and there is a degree of confusion about what it is that we provide. We’ve found that the best way to overcome this is to open our doors, invite constituency MPs in to meet our staff, chat with our customers – the vast majority of whom are their constituents – and to see for themselves who we are, what we offer and how we are an important part of the high street economy supporting the local supply chain.”
“There’s a big gap between perceptions of the sector and the reality, which has to be addressed if we are to have a heathy and vibrant future as an industry.”