Coronavirus Update

24th March 2020


Dear Member,


Further to my previous circular, single site operators consulted this morning have or will have ceased collections from pubs and similar venues forthwith. This is bacta’s recommendation.


Whilst it is understood that leaving cash on site is not ideal, the health or our people and our social responsibility to fight the coronavirus trumps the security concerns that this invokes.


In other news:

  • President, James Miller and I had our bi-weekly call with DCMS this morning to bring them up to speed on industry concerns. These included:
  • Our views on collections from pubs (see above)
  • Rebating or extended LA premises licence fees.
  • Noting that the Gambling Commission will not be reducing their fees as this is set by legislation and therefore cannot be altered easily
  • Furloughing
      • Concerns about the lack of clarity, particularly around whether employers need to top up the 80% Government contribution (they don’t but advice is not clear)
      • Need to permit workers to conduct necessary tasks around premises security and maintenance without employers being denied the contribution.
      • Likewise permitting employers to rota staff on these jobs without being penalised.
    • Postponement of the Minimum Wage increase – this is under discussion within Government.
    • Commercial mortgage relief
    • Extension of the rates relief to the leisure industry supply chain.
    • We thanked DCMS for their help in getting arcades listed in the premises ordered to close.

DCMS will take all of the issues through the relevant channels to the Government sub-committee on Business and Regulation.  We also input to this through the Tourism Alliance and Scottish Tourism Alliance, both of which are doing a great job on our behalf.

Other issues that have arisen:

  • Pay out on players’ TiTo tickets.  Do members have any mechanisms in place to do this?  it would be good to get a common view.  Please let me know.
  • I am thinking about any way the industry can help in this time of national crisis – could we donate unused plush to key workers for example.  If anyone has any ideas it would be good to hear them.  Clearly there are a thousand things to be done at the moment but in due course I’d like to set something up.
  • I’ll provide a comprehensive summary of all measures available to help with staff costs and managing staff tomorrow.
  • I would encourage members to look at the Government Covid-19 Business support website, the address of which I circulated yesterday.  There is some (but not much) extra details on furloughing there.

Kind Regards,



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