As the Labour Party made its way to Brighton this week, so did bacta’s John White, who was a panellist in a debate during the party conference before hosting Fish & Chips & Beer on the pier for MPs.
Bacta’s empirically-based arguments supporting the need to significantly reduce FOBT stakes gained further traction this week when chief executive, John White, shared a platform with Labour deputy leader, Tom Watson MP, at a fringe political debate held on the first day of the Labour Party Conference in Brighton.
Organised by the influential Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), the debate, titled ‘Gambling In The UK: Reducing Social Harms Whilst Retaining Economic Benefits’, attracted a standing room only attendance which included senior figures from a large number of local authorities including Sir Robin Wales, the directly elected Mayor of Newham, the inner London Borough which has one of the highest concentration of Licensed Betting Offices in the country.
Reflecting on the high level debate, which was chaired by Miatta Fahnbulleh, director of policy and research at the IPPR, John White said: “I was very pleased to be able to explain bacta’s position on problem gaming, our commitment to social responsibility and the central importance of securing a significant reduction in the max-imum stake on FOBTs.
“Clearly, any balanced and progressive approach to harm minimisation must include such a commitment and I believe this is a position shared by the vast majority of politicians not least by Tom Watson who has a strong inter-est in gambling and who believes there is a need for a new Gambling Act which is in tune with the digital age.
“Events such as this provides an invaluable opportunity to explain the low stake gaming and amusements sector and its role in supporting national and regional communities throughout the country.
“Our arguments have been well received in Brighton and we are looking forward to hosting members of parliament for bacta’s Fish & Chips & Beer evening on the iconic Brighton Palace Pier, one of the country’s most successful visitor attractions, whose 4.6m visitors a year eclipse those of the V&A,the Science Museum, the Tower of London and Stonehenge.”