Covid-19 Update

11th May 2021


Dear Member


Members will have seen news bulletins across Britain over the past few days confirming that pubs (indoors) and arcades of whatever type can reopen on Monday 17th May, subject to covid secure guidelines.

Can I take this opportunity of just wishing every single member all the best as we get back to some kind of normality.  It has been a very tough 14 months but the support members have given me and the team at bacta, represents a lasting testament to the resilience and creativity this industry has in abundance.  There will be plenty of time to reflect on what has gone well and what has not gone so well, but for now let’s get open and do what we do best – giving our customers an experience to which they will keep wanting to come back and enjoy.

I appreciate it will take many months yet before we get our supply chain as financially oiled as it was pre-pandemic. We will continue to fight for support as we also seek to rebuild and reshape bacta for the post-pandemic world.  As we come through this I am confident, to borrow a phrase, we will build back better, and emerge in the coming years as the modern, forward-thinking, and responsible industry I know we are.  We have plans to get on the front foot when it comes to marketing our sectors, and expanding our political reach when it comes to advancing the causes dear to our hearts and dear to our businesses.  The Gambling Review offers opportunities, and once through that process, I expect to see us accelerate the innovation we bring to our customers.

I also expect bacta to grow.  Despite everything, bacta has increased its membership during the pandemic as previous non-members recognised just how valuable membership can be.  We want to build on that.  Our commercial offerings have been hampered by Covid as much as yours.  Post May 17th we will be full throttle in developing the EAG Show for 2022, our cashless app, Game Payment, and rolling out the bactaPortal.

As always I welcome member feedback on any aspects of what we do and am always on the end of the phone.



As previously mentioned, some local authorities in England, have been saying amusement machines cannot be switched on in pubs from May 17th. This is not true.

Attached is a letter from DCMS that clarifies the matter.  It refers to our covid secure guidelines on managing machines in pubs agreed with UK Hospitality and the British Beer and Pub Association.  These have not changed since last Summer.  If you need a copy please get in touch.

I have also spoken with UK Hospitality and they have now included a Question and Answer in their official guidance (page 15) that makes it clear that machines can be switched on.  Here is a link.

In Scotland the Government guidance is clear on this point so hopefully members will not have an issue.

In Wales I have no reports of problems (nor any clarification from the Welsh Government).


Stay safe everyone and my very best wishes.


Kind regards