A recent rise in robberies at AGCs further underlines the need for the introduction of cashless payments, Bacta CEO John White contends.
Bacta CEO John White highlights a worrying rise in crime targeting AGCs and suggests this is yet another argument in favour of cashless payments.
“A series of recent violent robberies at High Street AGCs should give all of us cause for concern. Our staff should not have to work with the fear of a violent criminal demanding money, and we, along with the Bingo Association are working very seriously on this,” he stated. “We need the police to act quickly to put these criminals behind bars.”
White explains that one of the reasons AGCs are being targeted is that they are now one of the few places on the High Street where cash can be found. Given this, Bacta’s submission to the Gambling Commission calling for the introduction of cashless payments is all the more relevant, he contends.
“Our call in our submission to the Gambling Act Review, makes much of the need to allow customers to play machines with cashless technologies if that is what they wish. This would significantly reduce the amount of cash on the premises, amongst other things, and thereby the attention of some criminals,” explained White. “Given one of the shared licensing objectives is to ensure gambling is crime free, it is incumbent upon the Gambling Commission and the Government to heed what we have said and help us do just that.”
In the meantime, AGCs are faced with the prospect of taking what steps they can to strengthen their security.
“I would ask all AGC operators to review their crime prevention measures, such as for example having doors locked during certain hours,” White added. “Please let me know if you experience a robbery. This can be done in confidence, but this does allow us to build up a picture of what is going on and will support our conversations with police and with politicians.”
Meanwhile, as recently reported in Coinslot, operators have also been contending with the GC’s lengthy licence approval times. “A number of Bacta members have been frustrated by the time it has taken for licences to be approved by the Gambling Commission,” White acknowledged. “Anecdotally those that have been approved very slowly are held up for an unreasonable amount of time.”
This “is one of the areas at which the new GC CEO, Andrew Rhodes, will want to look as he gets his teeth into his new role,” he added.