Attending both Labour and Conservative party conferences, Bacta has been lobbying its
socks off to put across the amusement industry’s point of view ahead of the government’s
gambling review this year.
Bacta’s political engagement has hit the accelerator during the party conference season, with the trade body’s president Greg Wood and chief executive John White holding back to back meetings with the country’s political movers and shakers at both Labour and Conservative gatherings.
White detailed the lobbying that Bacta had been doing since Covid restrictions have eased, noting the importance of conveying the amusements industry’s positive contribution to society ahead of the upcoming gambling review.
“It has been intense”, said White. “We have, since re-opening in May, been meeting MPs in their constituencies or in members’ venues. It has been a very valuable exercise supplementing the dialogue we are having with Government about the Gambling Review. The Conference season has put that engagement into overdrive with just under 20 MPs, special advisers, journalists and staffers briefed both about the industry and the ongoing issues we need addressed. And the list of appointments extends into the deep Autumn.”
Among the senior politicians engaged was shadow tourism and gambling minister, Leeds MP, Alex Sobel, who spoke highly of bacta and the industry.
“Amusements form a critical part of the tourism industry but the last 20 months have been very difficult for the sector,” he said. “Arcades lost Easter and the beginning of the season and the Government didn’t bring forward support for everything. Furlough was useful but we still need people to support and celebrate the great British seaside.”
Attending the party conferences for the first time, Bacta president Greg Wood was pleased to see how supportive politicians on both side of the aisle are towards an industry that has brought both jobs and happiness to Britian’s high streets and seaside towns.
“This has been my first experience of the Party Conferences, and I have been impressed by just how well regarded are both Bacta and the industry,” concluded Wood. “It has been great to speak with so many people who appreciate what we offer and appear supportive of the things we would like to see changed in the Gambling Act.”