Wednesday, February 20, 2019
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Tag: Politics

Bacta meet with the Minister and explore industry road map

Bacta Delegation meet Gambling Minister Mims Davies
A senior Bacta delegation met last week with the Gambling Minister Mims Davies and her Civil Service advisers...

Redevelopment of Bangor Pier ahead of schedule

Bangor Pier, Redevelopment, politics, amusements
Despite Bangor City council reporting unforeseen and “challenging problems” in its refurbishment of the town’s landmark pier, Phase Three of rebuilding work is set to finish sooner than expected. The city of Bangor council has announced renovation work on the town’s famous Victorian pier could be completed ahead of schedule. Phase Three of the £1m repair project, which involves strengthening the...

DCMS calls for player feedback on gaming growth

DCMS, player feedback, gaming growth, politics
The House of Commons Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has launched an inquiry into young gamer behaviour as part of an ongoing study on “the addictive nature of some technologies.” The investigation, which asks questions such as “is gaming harmful or helpful to society? How does the design of a game keep you playing for longer?” forms part...

Ireland aim for “big beast” independent regulator by 2020

Ireland, Gambling, Control, Bill, politics
The Gambling Control Bill first proposed almost half a decade ago is finally set to move forward this year as Ireland’s minister of state aims to set-up a 100- employee-strong regulator for the industry by 2020. After almost five frustrating years of feet-dragging and delays, Ireland’s Fine Gael goverment is finally getting itself on track to launch an independent regulator...

Gulzar meets and greets to soothe local anxiety over Hastings Pier closure

Hastings Pier, Gulzar, politics, seaside
Over 200 Hastings locals including secretary of staffer work and pensions Amber Rudd MP, attended a demonstration outside of Hastings Pier over the weekend to show their love for the award winning structure. The procession of protestors, who rallied under the title ‘If You Love The Pier, Join The Queue’, formed in single file at the pier gates to highlight...

Government calls for year-round tourism promotion

Government, tourism, promotion, politics
Secretary of state for tourism Jeremy Wright has called on the tourism industry to respond with a “renewed commitment” to establish a world-leading market. Speaking to the Tourism Industry Council Wright said: “Every time a leisure or business traveller chooses to visit, it brings investment in our economy and supports jobs across the country, but we are in a competitive...

Ministers move to improve disabled facilities at theme parks

politics, disabled, theme parks, government
A ministerial consultation is to be launched in 2019 that could potentially see theme parks required to install Changing Places toilet facilities for those with severe disabilities. Current regulations only recommend that these should be in place at large venues,but new proposals - brought forward by Rishi Sunak MP - seek to amend this to include all new large publicly-accessible...

FOBT stake reduction signed into law, but political pressure set to continue

FOBT, stake reduction, politics, law, gambling
The reduction of the maximum stake on FOBTS from £100 to £2 has finally been passed into law, presenting a welcome Christmas gift for the wider industry - but how long will the anti-gambling hangover last into the New Year? On Tuesday 18 December the motion to reduce the maximum stake on FOBTs was approved by the House of Lords,...

Lords select committee visits Scarborough for seaside fact-finding mission

Lords select committee, Scarborough, seaside, politics
Members of the House of Lords visited Scarborough last week as part of their fact-finding mission into the complex challenges faced by seaside towns and coastal communities. The visit is part of the Lords Select Committee on Regenerating Seaside Towns’ inquiry into the issues surrounding local businesses and skills,as well as its investigation into how regeneration and the visitor economy...

Coastal Revival Fund announces £1m in upcoming grants

Coastal Revival Fund, Weymouth Esplanade, politics, grants
Weymouth Esplanade and Withernsea Pier are among 25 successful applicants to the latest round of the government’s coastal restoration scheme. The government’s Coastal Revival Funding scheme has announced that it will soon award just shy of £1m in grants to 25 coastal landmark and communities projects around the country. Now in its third year, the CRF allows applicants to bid for...

Bingo Association presents £1.3m cheque to Variety during Parliamentary event

Bingo Association, staff, Houses of Parliament, politics, bingo
On behalf of UK bingo operators, staff and customers Miles Baron, CEO of the Bingo Association, presented Variety ambassador and actor Joe McFadden with a cheque for £1.3m at an event held at the Houses of Parliament. The evening was attended by MPs, bingo operators, bingo players and charity beneficiaries from up and down the country. Miles Brown said: I’m incredibly...

Current coastal defences “unsustainable” in face of future sea-level rises, claims new report

coastal report
The latest coastal analysis report from the Committee on Climate Change claims that sea-level rises due to global warming will soon place vast swathes of Britain’s coasts at heightened risk of flooding and erosion - and that the UK’s current coastal management strategy is “unsustainable” in facing up to the scale of the problem...

FOBT stakes brought forward: Industry, politicians and finance sector reacts

FOBT, stakes, Industry, politics, finance
Whilst the week may have seen no small degree of political upheaval and dissent, there was near unanimity in the response to the government’s turnaround on the timing of new FOBT stakes. BACTA chief executive John White called it “a victory for common sense,” adding that “there was never any justification for being delayed beyond April 1.” “The right decision...

Stergides letter “received attention” from Downing Street prior to FOBT date change

Politics, fobt
A letter from Bacta national president Gabi Stergides “received attention” from the Prime Minister in the week leading up to government’s decision to push forward the date of the £2 maximum stake implementation on FOBTs. On 2 November, Stergides sent a letter to the government outlining the need for an April 2019 implementation date, rather than the proposed October 2019...

Irish Gaming reform still unlikely amidst ongoing political stalemate

Dail, ireland
Recent attempts to get the ball rolling on a modern framework for gambling in Ireland are unlikely to make the legislative agenda of what remains a deeply divided government across the Irish Sea. There will soon be no less than three prospective gambling bills under consideration by legislators in the Republic of Ireland - but there remains frustratingly scant sign...

UKinbound supports Brexit Withdrawal Agreement

brexit, ukinbound,
UKinbound, the trade association that represents nearly 400 of the UK’s top tourism businesses, has announced its support for the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and urges MPs to get behind the deal. UKinbound chairman Mark McVay commented “The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement provides some reassurance for our members that progress is being made about the shape of our future relationship with the...

Government bring forward FOBT reduced stake implementation to April 2019

Coinslot-FOBT-bacta-stake reduction
The Government has announced that the implementation date on the reduced maximum stake of £2 on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs), will be brought forward to April 2019. This follows an extensive campaign by the FOBT APPG, led by Iain Duncan Smith MP, Carolyn Harris MP and Ronnie Cowan MP, to bring forward the date from October 2019 as announced...

Amendment tabled for FOBT stake reduction

Houses of Parliament FOBT Stake Amendment
From a 21 strong group of Tory rebels, plus a UDP faction, some 74 MPs have now stepped forward to table a motion to attempt to force a government reversal on the delayed implementation of FOBT maximum betting stakes.

Over 70 cross-party MPs support early FOBT implementation date

Over 70 cross-party MPs support April 2019 FOBT implementation date A cross-party group of MPs, will tabled a new clause and a sequence of amendments to the Finance Bill to bring forward the implementation date for Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) to April 2019. This follows the announcement last month that the Government intends to implement the £2 stake maximum stake...

Hammond not budging on FOBT issue

Philip Hammond, budget, fobt
Following the recent budget, chancellor Philip Hammond has come in for criticism for postponing a cut to the maximum stakes for fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) from May next year to October 2019. The controversy prompted the resignation of sports minister Tracey Crouch, who reportedly believes that party colleagues, including pro-gambling MP Philip Davies, went over her head to secure...

Archer takes aim at former party for not stealing Labour proposals

Jeffrey Archer, legislation
Lord Archer has stated that Conservative ministers should “steal” the gambling advertising ban put forward by Labour deputy leader Tom Watson at the party’s September conference. The former Tory deputy chairman, no stranger to such appropriation himself having served half of his four year sentence for perjury in 2001, made the argument in a column published in the Radio Times. “A...

All roads lead to Brexit

Paul Kelly, brexit, politics, industry
With investment in the leisure industry highlighting an inherent positivity, the spectre of Brexit appearing ever larger on the horizon looks to bring its own challenges. It is now up to the government to heed the words of those in the know, comments Paul Kelly, CEO at BALPPA. He negotiates his way through a Coinslot Q&A, without the need...

AWPs fine with me, says Bolton commissioner

AWPs, Bolton, politics, local council
Support and understanding of the industry from a local legislator? No, it’s not a joke - as one Bolton councillor goes on the record. A prominent Bolton councillor and licensing commissioner has spoken out in support of AWP machines in pubs - following the unanimous decision by the regional committee to approve a new Cat C placement. Councillor Nick Peel sat...

Ulster still on VAT backfoot against Republic, say observers

Ulster, VAT, tax, politics, ireland
A budgetary increase in VAT paid by the hospitality sector in the Republic of Ireland still leaves Northern Irish counterparts at a pronounced competitive disadvantage, claim industry campaigners. As of 2019, VAT paid on hospitality services in the Republic will rise from 9 per cent to 13.5 per cent - but across the border the UK government continues to enforce...

Victory: Feltham showmen won’t be re-housed, says council

Feltham showmen,politics, showmen
It’s a happy conclusion for Feltham showmen fighting construction of new housing development by Hounslow Council - after legislators announced their homes were safe...for now. For over a year the showmen community in Feltham has been waging an uphill battle. The west London suburb has been home to showpeople since 1905 - after a group of families put down roots in...

All talk and no action: Canvey council under fire from within

Canvey council, local council, Canvey, politics, seaside
Pressure is mounting on Castle Point Council to make good on long-awaited coastal regeneration plans in Canvey Island, after one of its own members declared that all it seemed able to do was “talk talk talk.” A “masterplan” of redevelopment in Canvey has been bandied about since before the 2008 recession, with outlined plans detailing new public toilets on the...

Enforce the FOBT stake – or we’ll do it for you, say legislators

FOBT, politics, government, Philip Hammond,
A coalition of over thirty members of parliament and peers have called on the Chancellor to enforce the government’s promised reduction in FOBT stakes - and have pledged to take matters into their own hands if he does not. In a joint letter published last week in Parliament’s The House magazine, signatories from all major parties and both chambers praised...

UK Treasury poised to deliver ‘drastic’ online tax rise

Tax hike treasury
The UK treasury is preparing to announce a rise in online taxes, when it delivers the autumn budget next week – that could see liabilities increase by ten percent. The rise is being devised to compensate for lost tax receipts after the controversial cut in gaming machine stakes from £100 to £2 is implemented next year – potentially as soon...

Government to face ‘tough questions’ over support for seaside resorts

UK seaside-politics
A cross-party group of peers has promised to push the government for answers on how it will support seaside resorts after they visited Skegness last week. Members of the House of Lords have said they will press the government on issues surrounding support for seaside resorts - and businesses within them - after a fact-finding mission to Skegness. Members of the...

Blackpool to put gambling policy out for public discourse, but what about local operators asks Higgit?

Blackpool, gambling policy, gambling, policy, local politics, politics
Councillors in Blackpool have announced an upcoming period of public consultation regarding local gambling regs - but operators like Chris Higgit have thus far been left out of the equation. A triennial review of policy pertaining to the issuance of gambling licences in Blackpool is to be put out for public consultation - but operators are struggling to find information...