Bacta targets political conferences for lobbying opportunities

Bacta targets political conferences for lobbying opportunities

Monday, July 16, 2018 Posted by Luke Massey
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Bacta will be putting its arguments to all three major political parties

UK amusement and gaming trade association Bacta will use this year’s political party conference season as an opportunity to drive home its arguments on behalf of the industry.

The lobbying programme kicks off in Brighton on 17 September when the south coast resort will host the Liberal Democrats. One week later and Bacta will be in Liverpool attending the Labour Party Conference (24 and 25 September), followed by 1 and 2 October when the Conservative party assembles in Birmingham.

Bacta Chief Executive John White believes attendance at the party conferences is central to the association’s ongoing political lobbying. He said: “We’ve just fought a major campaign on B2 stakes and it’s clear that particular battle is far from over. There’s a lot that we still have to do in order to bring forward the implementation date for the £2 FOBT stake.

“We also have a range of other issues on the industry shopping list not least the implications of Brexit for both manufacturers and destination venues and the importance of infrastructure investment in coastal resorts. The party conferences provide us with an opportunity to engage with both politicians and advisers in order to help influence policy and present a fair and accurate representation of the industry.”

The Brighton Palace Pier will be the venue when Bacta host Liberal Democrat Councillors and Christine Jardine MP the Liberal Democrats spokesperson on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in the House of Commons. In Liverpool, Bacta will be attending a range of Labour Fringe Events, followed by a reception in Birmingham when the association will be bringing a touch of seaside themed fun to the Conservative party.

White concluded: “Having a successful, campaigning trade association that can deliver politically is a really important reason for joining Bacta. I believe Bacta, with the help of the membership has shown itself to be an effective force and the party conferences provide us with another opportunity to progress the issues that are important to our members."

Totally Gaming says: While lobbying is mostly seen as a tool for winning political hearts and minds, it’s also useful for gauging the mood of policy makers. Given recent developments with Category B2 and a stalling of stake and prize levels for other machine types, Bacta may have to do more listening than talking as it seeks to identify ways of changing the political narrative around gaming machines.

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