Bacta’s Mancom team sets out its agenda

With Bacta’s new crop of Divisional Chairmen confirmed, in an exclusive interview Coinslot asked the new Management Committee team about the state of the industry and the issues they will be pushing to the top of the Association’s agenda over the next two years.


Trevor Sutton – Leisure Equipment Controller, NAMCO UK, Chairman, Division 1

“As incoming Chairman for Division 1 the next two years present a real opportunity to promote change within the Family Entertainment Sector. In the aftermath of years of lobbying and ultimately gaining the positive outcome of the recent FOBT campaign it is now very much the time to drive forward the industry encompassing all that is currently great about our sector but equally looking to utilise modern technology with three key focuses: firstly to develop a diverse offer which will continue to drive footfall to our members locations whilst improving the offer, secondly to ensure we are fit for purpose when it comes to payment solutions . As we head towards a cashless society it is imperative we explore and find solutions which will sustain our offer moving forward. We also need to continue with the great strides we have already made to improve our profile as a trade association, particularly within the tourism sector and government departments. Some key contacts and allies were made in the recent campaign and these relationships and indeed future ones will be key to delivering future benefits within our sector. We must however remember our core values, and as I see it that is to deliver FUN in a safe yet dynamic environment. Indeed, it is one of Bacta’s core values to strive to be forward thinking, innovative and diverse. Within this we should of course retain the wonderful tradition that many of our members continue to employ particularly within coastal communities. I have a vast array of fond memories from visits to the coast with my family, memories dating back to the late 1970’s, two generations on and this is very much still the case. As a father of four and with a 22 year gap between eldest and youngest, I still regularly visit many of our member’s locations on day trips to the coast, a busman’s holiday for me, however for the children a fun-filled day out and memories which will last a lifetime. Long may it continue!.”


Peter Davies – Managing Director, Gamestec Playnation Group, Chairman, Division 2

“I’m looking forward to progressing the agenda for Division 2 members that has already been laid out and developed by my predecessor Greg Wood and the Bacta Secretariat. In particular we will be monitoring developments around the challenge of the marked reduction in the use of physical cash in venues with the rapid transition to cashless payments methods. I’ve spoken at some length on this subject and believe it to be the greatest threat and by definition opportunity faced by Division 2 members and one which affects all Bacta members who operate, design or manufacture gaming machines. The impact of current legislation restrictions will be a key focus but of course will need to be linked with wider social responsibility measures to protect the vulnerable. There is much we can do in this area. I will also be championing the cause of non-gaming products operated by Division two members which oft get overlooked in the wider association agenda. Pool, music and non-gaming skill based products play an important part in the makeup of most Division 2 members portfolios. Bacta has already successfully led discussions with PRS and PPL with regards a fairer licencing regime and this work will continue. This list is not exhaustive and I will be reaching out to division members to understand needs and frustrations in an effort to widen the agenda and to encourage new members to join and most importantly contribute to an improving future for the sector.”


Neil Finch – Managing Director, Southern City Leisure, Chairman, Division 3

“Our industry is in a good position to take on any new challenges as they arise and arise they will, however we must remember where we came from in order to move forward. There were lots of different manufacturers, distributors and operators and so many colourful characters within our amusement industry. We must not forget this and be careful to ensure no more fall by the wayside as a result of the appetite for success. We must work together as an industry to ensure our business continues to flourish and grow, innovation and development must be shared and not retained in house for self interest, restrictions will only be detrimental. The challenges ahead are coming thick and fast, the reduction in FOBT stake down to £2, how will this affect us ? What will the bookmakers do to minimise the loss, what will they do to make up the deficit? We must work together to produce a cashless payment system that can be used by all operators across all sectors, the fewer differentials the better. Unfortunately there has also been a downside for the gambling industry as a whole due to the associated media coverage on FOBT’s. The Government along with the Gambling Commission has a duty of care to ensure that people gamble responsibly and that operators respect this and protect the vulnerable. We have an impeccable record for self regulating and we must continue to do this to an exceptionally high standard ensuring we take responsible gambling very seriously. The better we self police and take the necessary action where needed can only stand us in good stead for the future, we must be proactive and not reactive. . Having been lucky enough travel extensively and visit many different gambling establishments around the world, nobody but nobody does customer care better than us. Finally, we will never stop change, we must not fear it but embrace it and adapt, never doubt that our customers will not accept changes, they do and they will – as long as we can continue to deliver the best experience possible.”


Quentin Stott – Managing Director, Reflex Gaming, Chairman, Division 4

“Enhanced political engagement and the development of evidence based arguments in support of a progressive approach to low stake gaming entertainment are just two of the topics on my shopping list. From a policy perspective it’s very important that we engage with the regulator in the post-B2 environment in order to progress Category C technical standards. Clearly we need to go to the Commission armed with evidence that supports our status as a sector that delivers safe, socially responsible gaming entertainment. I think the B2 debate has tarnished the reputation of gaming per se. In the minds of many observers gaming is one homogeneous sector and we need to make the distinction between the categories. I am keen to explore and establish the common ground that exists between the industry and the Gambling Commission when it comes to the vexed issue of payment methods. The truth is that gaming is in danger of becoming the only activity on the high street that prohibits consumers from using alternative payment methods. Pubs are very much on the front line and make no mistake, the pub AWP is facing a troubled future if there’s no change to the status quo. There are strong arguments that cash alternatives can provide enhanced safeguards and player protection that we need to demonstrate to the Commission. There’s no doubt that we operate in an evidence based arena and equally, we cannot expect the Commission or anyone else for that matter to understand the dynamics of our market. There’s a big body of work to be done and using Bacta initiatives we need to better understand our players and their behaviour and use research findings to progress the case for increased stakes and prizes. I am looking forward to working with the other divisional chairs to ensure that Bacta builds on and maintains the highest possible level of positive engagement with both government and the regulator.”


This article was originally published on

Related Posts