8th December 2020
COVID-19 AND GAMBLING REVIEW UPDATE
The Scottish Government has today confirmed which areas will be in which Level from Friday as follows.
- level 4 areas will have restrictions lifted at 6pm Friday 11 December and move to level 3.
- East Renfrewshire
- East Dunbartonshire
- West Dunbartonshire
- North Lanarkshire
- South Lanarkshire
- East Ayrshire
- South Ayrshire
- West Lothian
- Three areas will move from level 3 to level 2 at 6pm on Friday
- Two areas will move from level 2 to level 1 at 6pm on Friday
- Dumfries and Galloway
- Scottish Borders
- The SG is continuing to monitor Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire but both areas will remain in level 2 as cases have not fallen as quickly as expected – a move to level 3 in the coming weeks cannot be ruled out
- The SG is currently looking at whether Edinburgh can move to level 2 but for now will remain in level 3
- The Finance Secretary will be setting out tomorrow a finance package for those in the hospitality sector
- Scottish Government will be considering over the next couple of weeks whether any changes to the content of different levels can be made – specifically due to the effect on hospitality
The Government today published its call for evidence into the review of gambling legislation in this country. Short on surprises, the Review does present a number of opportunities and challenges for bacta and its members.
Encouragingly respondents are invited to make further suggestions to those contained in the Call for Evidence. This leaves the way for us to suggest the changes, should they be agreed by National Council, and which have been widely canvassed amongst the membership from in-venue linked jackpots, the end to the 80/20 rule and the ability to subdivide Category C to allow for new game innovation. The document also specifically asks about our long-standing request for cashless forms of payment. It also asks about licensing arrangements for machines in pubs which will present an opportunity to end some of the ludicrous and costly licensing processes that currently exist.
On the other hand, whilst bacta’s move on Cat Ds is acknowledged, the Government has called for evidence on whether non-cash payout reel-based machines should be made available only to over 18s. Cranes, pushers and other types of Category D machine are not mentioned.
We have today met with our PA advisers, Interel, to begin filling in the gaps of our lobbying map around the Review and will meet again next week to consider further what we need to do and what additional evidence we need to obtain.
Bacta has previously agreed in principle to support the establishment of a gambling ombudsmen and does not oppose in principle the introduction of a statutory smart levy – dependent upon the criteria used to make any assessment, and the scale of any resulting levy.
I was encouraged by the Ministers statement to the House today which emphasised the importance of evidence and the need to balance the harms of gambling against the enjoyment of millions and the sustainable future of the industry.
Members are encouraged to take a look at the Review document and feed any thoughts about what we should say by way of response.