Greg Wood, vice-president of Bacta, spoke about his role as chair of the trade body’s payment committee and director of GPT, the joint venture company behind Bacta’s new YALP payment app, at this year’s annual general meeting.
I have been involved in Bacta for over seven years now, having first started on the Div 2 committee, moving on to Div 2 Vice chair for 2 years then becoming chair of DIV 2 just over 2 years ago. I was then given the opportunity to take on the position of VP, taking up this role in March this year. It is my view that you will only get back what you put in and with Bacta, the more you add the more you benefit.
Taking on these roles has helped me and my business grow, given me a better overall understanding of not only the UK market but also the wider European market, there is always something to learn. Both James, Gabi and John have helped me take on these roles. To this end I would encourage everyone to try and increase their involvement in Bacta – you do need to give a bit of time, but the benefits that you and your business can gain far outweigh the time given up.
For me during this time cashless has been the most significant area of focus at Bacta. Over the past 2 years, having been involved in the setting up and then chairing the Cashless payment committee. The committee was set up with the remit of finding or developing a cashless solution that can be delivered on gaming machines, with a key focus on the single site Cat C market. Members felt that this solution should be controlled by bacta, be industry wide, and involve all manufacturers so that it can benefit members for the longer term through ongoing revenue streams to Bacta and delivering a service for members in a secure and sustainable way.
We are now there! With YALP, we have been able to deliver on all of the targets and objectives that have been outlined, whilst adding some crucial enhancements that will enable us to move the whole market forward. SR is a key part of this; YALP has built in Age Verification. This will help to solve an issue that is growing in the pub market with an ever increasing focus on age verification checks.
We will be rolling out our pilot sites in the next 2 weeks, with a full launch at EAG in January – but this is only the start. Once we have fully delivered on our objectives and have a product deployed in the market, we will start working on the many opportunities that have been presented since our debut at ACOS.
But we couldn’t have haven’t done this alone, none of this could have been achieved without the work and input from our JV partner Polar moment. They have delivered the hardware and software expertise from the payment sector. They have enabled YALP to operate through a tier one bank, which shows the knowledge and experience the team at Polar Moment bring with them. This has been invaluable to us in achieving our goals.I would also like to offer my thanks to Robert Gibb for his work on this project, without whom we wouldn’t have got to where we are today. And of course, without the support and guidance of our President James Miller none of this would have been possible.
There is a significant opportunity with YALP and GPT and we will be looking to get moving beyond the Cat C market into all other machine gaming and non-gaming products as soon as possible. This is only the start of the journey, however we do have one critical hurdle to overcome and that is player uptake.
Of course this is not the only thing that we have achieved at Bacta this year. We are always considering how we can deliver more value to members, what opportunities there are and what issues we can help with. Take Cat D and FOBT’s as examples of this; although there are many more.