Based on the value of a room full of experience, Bacta national president, Greg Wood was in excellent company when he joined with 14 of his predecessors at a private dinner held at the Hippodrome Casino, Leicester Square.
A total of 14 past Bacta National Presidents plus the incumbent Greg Wood, met for the third edition of what has become an annual gathering at a private dinner kindly hosted by Jimmy and Simon Thomas at the Hippodrome casino.
The group, whose collective time span serving the association stretched from its origins to the present day, represents what has to be the most knowledgeable and experienced group of leaders in the UK coin-op sector. The annual dinner served as a catalyst for wide ranging discussions and recollections of struggles past including the introduction of the 1968 Gaming Act, the Rothschild report, decimalisation, AMLD, the Budd report and the consequential 2005 Gambling Act, all set against the seemingly permanent backdrop of lifting fixed stake levels in line with inflation. The debate also covered what was perceived to be the damaging changes in political attitudes towards landbased gambling which have been triggered by concerns regarding on-line gambling and advertising.
Every presidency has had its particular battle, (or battles) to contend with and the current President, Greg Wood has his own as he tries to anticipate and plan for the recommendations of the current Gambling Review. And as one past-President proffered, there is strength in unity and that if asked past Chairs and Presidents are always willing to put their shoulder to the wheel to help protect an industry sector which remains dear to their heart.
The meeting of past Presidents comprised: Jason Frost, Tim Batstone, Gabi Stergides, Greg Wood, Jimmy Thomas, Simon Thomas, James Miller, Sonia Meaden, Charles Henry, Frank Manzi, Brian Meaden, Nick Harding, John Bollom, Roger Withers and Steve Hawkins.