Sunday, January 24, 2021


An industry suffering from a lack of understanding

Golden Touch Amusements Neil Finch Jason Frost AGCs
Continuing the series of features on sectors within the industry, Coinslot turns its attention to the independent AGCs and their unique set of problems during the Pandemic. Steph Norbury talks to operators Neil Finch and Jason Frost about the challenges..

Bacta “tea-leaves” suggest no route to re-opening until May

John White Bacta re-opening timeline
Bacta has told members that noises out of Westminster suggest re-opening in time for Easter could be a long-shot for most amusement outfits. The spring-board for UK plc is more likely to be May.

Not “hospitality” enough: Dagenham pub supplier denied business support

Dagenham Pub supplier LSO Ltd denied support hospitality
Applications for financial aid on the part of pub and club supplier LSO Ltd have been turned down by the local council - on account of the business not being “hospitality” enough.

Affordability checks will undermine the safer gambling success story, argues GBG chief executive

Peter Hannibal Gambling Business Group affordability checks
Proposals to introduce affordability checks will cause the problems they set out to address and as such warrant much closer scrutiny, warn the Gambling Business Group.

Camelot to fast track National Lottery age limit increase

Camelot National Lottery
You will have to be over-18 to play The National Lottery from next summer. Operators Camelot have responded to government intent to raise the age limit by October next year, putting plans in action to get the job done earlier.

National Lottery age increase indicative of growing intent of government regulation

National Lottery age increase
The minimum age for playing the National Lottery is to increase to 18, as the government tightens its focus on reregulating the UK gambling industry.

Paul Terroni: It’s always darkest before the dawn

Paul Terroni Novomatic UK
Whilst acknowledging this year as having been “incredibly tough”, Novomatic UK’s head of business strategy Paul Terroni has urged amusement stakeholders to hold on just a little longer - and ride the wave of a resurgent economy (and new Gambling Act) in 2021.

Bacta: Balance and evidence; the essential ingredients for the 2020 gambling review

Bacta cautiously encouraged DCMS gambling review
Bacta is cautiously encouraged by the Gambling Review which was launched on Tuesday - but calls for balance and evidence-based decision making.

Showmen’s Guild: Fairs still “good to go” under new government restrictions, local councils willing…

Showmens Guild Fairs good to go
Whilst England’s national stance on Covid may have changed, the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain argues that the fate of the country’s fairground operators remains entirely in the hands of regional authorities.

Gambling review is not imminent, says DCMS secretary … but it will happen

Shooter game gambling review
Getting the Covid-19 pandemic under control has taken priority over the government’s promised gambling review, which was expected this month but has now been described as ‘not imminent’ by the DCMS’ permanent secretary Sarah Healey - much to the disappointment of anti-gambling campaigners. So, how does the industry view the bigger picture?

Bacta to survey members on the fiscal impact of Covid

Bacta survey
Bacta has launched an inquiry into the commercial impact of Covid-19 on its membership. Part of its programme of..

Rank top brass: Gambling “targeted” by tier three clampdown

Tier Three lockdowns crisis Rank Group
David Williams has said that gambling’s inclusion in tier three lockdowns “has nothing to do with science,” and that one of the biggest names in British gambling faces an existential crisis due to a “moral judgement” on the part of legislators. The Rank Group are expressing the simmering anger amongst the business community

A ministerial response heavy on approvals, but light on substance

Gambling Commission recommendations DCMS PAC
A universal sign off on the PAC’s recommendations has all the hallmarks of a government which has far bigger fish to fry at present than the reformation or re-funding of the way gambling is regulated.

Government signs off on PAC recommendations

Parliament Public Accounts Committee Gambling Commisison
The ministerial response to the hardball Public Accounts Committee review over the efficacy of the Gambling Commission waives any serious scrutiny of the PAC’s findings. Is this another case of Anti-gambling narrative 1 - Proper analysis 0?

UK’s night-time sector faces “tidal wave of redundancies” as music becomes latest Covid casualty

Night time hospitality pub music
No drinking, no talking, and now no music. The government has turned pub music down to 85db in England, whilst Scotland has banned it completely in pubs. The latest measures to counter Covid have met with scathing criticism, with the music sector the next in line for crisis talks.

Downing Street to head review of Gambling Act

Gambling Act Review Autumn Downing st report
According to a report in The Guardian this weekend, not only is this government going ahead with its long-awaited review of the Gambling Act this autumn, but it’s a project being undertaken at the highest levels of state.

Bacta survey reveals almost a third of jobs lost as industry hits breaking point

Bacta survey shocking redundancy reports
As the Government announces further restrictions - including a curfew of 10pm for pubs - a survey of members carried out by Bacta last week reveals shocking rates of redundancy, with almost a third of the workforce having already lost their jobs or with their jobs at imminent risk. The government needs to act now.

Peter Hannibal: Is driving National Lottery revenues compatible with protecting the vulnerable?

Peter Hannibal Gambling Business Group National Lottery revenues
Peter Hannibal, chief executive of the cross-sector strategic body, the Gambling Business Group, is calling on the DCMS and the Gambling Commission to explain how they propose to balance the drive to maximise National Lottery revenues and deliver high returns at the same time as protecting the vulnerable

Commission still on-track for “agile” down-sizing

Gambling Commission
The regulator hasn’t ruled out compulsory job-losses in its efforts at streamlining its operations, much to the chagrin of the anti-gambling lobby. It seems the Gambling Commission is under attack when it wastes money, and now when it doesn’t.

Paying the price? “Radical overhaul” required for Gambling Commission, say parliamentary accounts committee

Meg Hillier Public Accounts Committee
The NAO’s Public Accounts Committee has described the regulator as “toothless” and issued an “urgent” call for a hardline review of the Gambling Act. Not good news for the Gambling Commission, and highly unlikely to be good news for the industry either.

Industry split on post-Covid prospects

DCMS Coronavirus Impact Business Survey
Figures released as part of the Coronavirus Impact Business Survey, which studied a broad array of industries, included responses from around 50 gambling..

Amusements venues ready for Britain’s grand re-opening

AGCs FECs re-opening
While bowling and casinos will have to wait a while longer before the green light is given, AGCs, piers FECS, and bingo are eager and prepared for Britain’s grand reopening.

Now’s the time to get to the bottom of what was a collective failure before it has the chance to happen all over again

AGCs collective failure licensing regime Peter Hannibal Gambling Business Group
Peter Hannibal, chief executive of the cross-sector strategic body, the Gambling Business Group, proposes a back to basics education programme even down to the use of the ‘A’ word.

Industry left out in the cold with no direct representation on Visitor Economy Working Group

no Amusement or Gambling representation Tourism Working Group
Britain’s amusements, gaming and gambling industries are all dressed up with nowhere to go. The DCMS has launched a working party to determine a roadmap for how tourism is going to drive our economy forward. But bodies such as Bacta and other key industry associations have, oddly, been left out. A simple error or an error of judgement?

A new normal awaits: The industry sets the wheels in motion for getting back to work

Coronavirus reopening webinar Bacta
Bacta is preparing to launch a specially tailored web-seminar to ensure that its membership is fully briefed and has the necessary support to open up with the easing of restrictions.

Government considering October bank holiday for tourism boost

october bank holiday proposals
The government is actively considering proposals, officially lodged by VisitBritain and fashioned out of an idea from the seaside amusements sector, to introduce a new bank holiday in October, in order to recoup part of the estimated £37bn loss faced by the UK tourism industry this year.

Roundtable keeps government engaged with industry thinking

Minister for gambling Nigel Huddleston government’s stakeholder roundtable sessions
The Minister responsible for gambling, Nigel Huddleston MP, and his team at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, have been congratulated for ‘the way in which the department has communicated with the industry and for the level of support provided by government during what is a particularly difficult time for business.’

Gambling Act review pushed back by Covid-19

Gambling Act Reform
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has stated the government’s proposed review into the Gambling Act could be postponed due to the impact of Coronavirus.

UK gambling sector employment saw 13 percent drop in 2019

Office National Statistics gambling industry employment report
A report by the Office for National Statistics has revealed employment in the UK gambling industry during 2019 was at its lowest in almost ten years, declining 14.7 percent since 2011.

“If you need help, we’re listening,” says DCMS

Nigel Huddleston MP DCMS business support
The DCMS minister responsible for gambling has written to all industry stakeholders asking for “feedback and insight” as to the kind of business support they might require.