23rd July 2021
Gambling Review – Gambling Minister, John Whittingdale, yesterday responded to an adjournment debate in the House of Commons led by Scott Benton MP. Scott is the new chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Betting and Gaming. You may recall we met him in his constituency a few weeks ago where he visited Warwick’s Amusements and Coral Island in Blackpool. We provided him with a briefing before the debate and waited to see whether the much anticipated intervention by the Minister would give us any clues on the thinking of DCMS on the Review. The answer was not really. The White Paper is still due to be published by the end of the year and the Department is looking at all of the evidence that has been provided. What was interesting was the tone, with the Minister appreciative of the contributions the gambling industry makes to the financial and cultural wealth of the nation – a point we made very strongly in our briefing. If anyone would like a transcript of the debate please drop me an email.
The Minister will be joining bacta on Monday for an afternoon visit to Clacton where we will be able to reinforce the argument for many of the requests we made in our Gambling Act review submission. This follows hard on his visit to an Admiral arcade in London a couple of weeks’ ago. The following Friday we will also be hosting the Special Adviser to the Secretary of State on a visit to an AGC and to Brighton Palace Pier. This all part of our on-going stakeholder engagement programme.
Age Verification Testing – A few members have been in touch complaining that they failed their AV test because the testers were wearing masks. It is important to remember that the AV Tests are there to help members stress test their policies and procedures. It is not an exam and a fail is not a criticism but an helpful indicator of how well your staff understand their responsibilities. If a tester is a wearing a mask they are perfectly entitled to request them to remove the mask for the purposes of verifying their age.
Test and Trace (England) – What should I do when a member of staff is ‘pinged’? is the most common question the office is receiving at the moment. As previously mentioned a ‘ping’ is advisory and you should self-isolate from the date of the contact with the supposedly infected person. It is not compulsory and a number of members have introduced daily lateral flow tests for ‘pinged’ members of staff as an alternative. Although it is important to note that if a ‘pinged’ member of staff does not come to work then they cannot be disciplined for doing so. On August 16th the system will change to allow any double jabbed individual to take a daily test as an alternative to self-isolation. Someone contacted directly by the Track and Trace scheme is however still required by law to self-isolate.
Global Regulatory Awards – Finally just to remind members that the deadline for entries for the Awards is July 30th. This is highly prestigious set of awards for which I am honoured to be a judge, and whilst I would not be involved in judging any entries from our sector to avoid any perceived conflicts of interest, I would love to see a strong cohort of entries from the machine sector. Click here to enter: https://gamblingcomplianceawards.awardstage.com/#!/p1