White Paper webinar provides invaluable insight and inspiration

Bacta has intensified its membership engagement programme as it moves into the next stage of consultation on the government’s White Paper on gambling reform.
Interest in the consultation process and the thirst for insight was evident in last week’s bacta webinar which attracted more than 100 members representing all sectors of the industry. The response from operators was hugely positive with members contributing to the debate and asking supplementary questions as a result of points raised during the webinar.
Wes Smart, Managing Director, Harbour Park in Sussex was one of the participants who dialled into the webinar and was delighted with the outcome. He explained: “A real benefit of bacta membership is the access it provides to a diversity of views and opinions covering all sectors of the industry.
“Listening to how businesses in different sectors and those located in different parts of the country are thinking about the proposed 50/50 rule, about the mandatory levy, the Ombudsman and cashless payments is important not just for members but also for the bacta team to take back into their consultations with DCMS.”
He continued: “It’s what happens on the ground that really matters and by having a dialogue with members bacta can go back armed with examples of how operators will respond to changes in legislation: for example, will a 50/50 machine rule result in some operators amalgamating premises, as opposed to what government could anticipate will lead to a proliferation of B3 product?”
Addressing the complex nature of what he described as a ‘once in a generation opportunity’ Wes noted: “The webinar not only enabled members to clarify some of the details contained in the White Paper with John White but it also served as a forum to bring points to his attention.
“If the devil is in the detail everyone needs to be absolutely clear and transparent about language and definitions. For example, does or could the phrase ‘Adult Style Gambling’ be extended to include redemption product? These are all things that we have to be aware of. Being able to debate these and many other issues as well as learn from the experience and insight of fellow members was really beneficial.”
John White was keen to thank members for their participation and contributions emphasising the value of authentic feedback. He argued: “We are being asked by Civil Servants involved in the consultation process for insight and authentic, ‘at the coal face’ style commentary is enormously valuable and enhances our position. I believe the webinar was bacta at its very best and demonstrated how a modern, dynamic trade body which has the active support of its members can work towards creating a positive environment in which to do business.”