Covid-19 Update

19th June 2020


Dear Member






 Rates Relief and Grants


  • Scotland and Wales continue to be a mess with different Councils persisting with different approaches.  We are having one last push in Wales where it has been impossible to find anyone with whom to have a meaningful conversation. As I said yesterday Councils push it to the Government and the Government pushes the issue to the Councils.  Our lobbying is now being stone-walled.  In Scotland we are meeting again hopefully next week, with the official responsible for rating policy to see if there has been any progress on establishing the clarity we have been asking for since March.





Customs Training


  • I have been working with KPMG on some fully-funded customs training for members.  I will send members and email on Monday with details but if this piques your interest drop me a line over the weekend.  It’s offered on a first come first served basis.


Suggested response letter to MPs – please use your own words if you can.


For members who also have FECs you might like to include the penultimate sentence in bold,  too.


Thank you for passing on the Minister’s reply to your letter in which you kindly raised my anger at the Government’s decision not to allow Adult Gaming Centre businesses like mine, to open on 15th June as had been clearly indicated in Government Guidance, public statements and private conversations with my trade body, bacta. We were in exactly the same position as other non-essential retailers on the list of venues due to open. That list is still defining High Street Gambling Arcades as shops.

Frankly, I am disappointed that the Minister has not given an explanation as to why this was the case and chosen rather to defend what is clearly a mistake.

There is no scientific reason why we could not open. With the social distancing and hygiene measures we have put in place we are at very low risk of being the source of Covid-19 transmission. There are less than 1000 AGCs in England we have low customer numbers and dwell times, much less incidentally than many other retailers. Betting Offices, which number close to 8000 in the UK have, as well as being our High Street competitors, many similarities to my business for the purposes of determining risk. They provide recreational gambling including exactly the machines in my AGCs.

At least the Minister has indicated that the 4th July is when the next round of business openings will occur. If the Government will not correct this mistake before then they must do so on the 4th. This must be the same date as my seaside arcade business which needs to get open if we are going to see any income at all this season.   My business can’t take another hammer blow. 

Yours sincerely,

Kind regards




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