Member Update

29th November 2021


Dear Member




  • Covid 19 – I am sure all members will be concerned about the emergence of a new Covid variant and the possible consequences this will have not least for members’ businesses.  In a statement yesterday the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced new restrictions for England (which mirror those already in Scotland and Wales), requiring people to wear face coverings in shops and on public transport.  At this stage there is no specific detail to confirm whether or not this will apply to AGCs and FECs.  Given hospitality is not included and AGCs were not permitted to re-open as non-essential retail I suspect not, but will confirm as soon as I know.  I have written to the DCMS to obtain clarity.
  • Covid 19 – In Scotland we have been lobbying against the imposition of vaccine passports to our sector and I am pleased to be able to say that First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, last week confirmed that they would not apply to venues such as AGCs and FECs amongst others.
  • Covid 19 – In Scotland again we were not so fortunate with the ‘Ventilation Grants’ available to businesses that want to improve the air flow and cleanliness in their venues.  These are only available for those deemed to be ‘high risk settings’.  On the other had the fact that we are not deemed to be high risk is a vindication of the facts we have been presenting over the past nineteen months.
  • Bacta  Convention – For those of you who were unable to attend the Annual Convention, I am sure you have been able to pick up from Coin Slot and elsewhere that the day was very well received.  It was heartening to hear senior politicians commend bacta for all its work in Parliament and with Civil Servants – not surprising given we have in 2021 alone briefed over 400 MPs, MSPs and MSs, written close to 1,000 letters and had asked in the Houses of Parliament over 400 Parliamentary Questions.  Our Parliamentary Reception the night before was also well attended by MPs across the House and there has been some great social media posts from those who came including Tourism Minister, Nigel Huddleston.  Don’t let anyone tell you that bacta is not effective in getting its message across and delivering results for members nor that we are always on the wrong side of public policy decisions.  We are not; as the facts demonstrate.
  • Gambling Review – Our extensive engagement work continues and on Wednesday we met again with Gambling Minister, Chris Philp, alongside Bingo Association colleagues, to press him on our asks for the Gambling Review.  As I said following our previous meeting, we found him open, intelligent and prepared to listen.  Our biggest concern still remains the legislative timetable, a risk that Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP mentioned at the Convention.  My personal view is that October 2023 is the most likely date by which we will see legislative change.


As always, please do drop me a line or give me a ring if you want to discuss any of the above.


Kind regards