Record-breaking Bacta Convention raises the bar and ticks the boxes

Bacta is reflecting on what many attendees regarded as being the most successful Annual Convention on record. 

A line-up of influential speakers comprising Gambling Minister, the Rt Hon Stuart Andrew MP, Phillip Davies MP, Andrew Rhodes, Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission, Kate Nicholls OBE, Chief Executive UKHospitality, Miles Barron, CEO of the Bingo Association and Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council – attracted a record number of bacta members to the Convention which was held at London’s County Hall situated on the south side of Westminster Bridge.

John Bollom, bacta’s National President said that he was delighted with the Convention which recorded what was the largest ever turnout of members to the event.

He confirmed: “After years of waiting we can finally see the results of our work with the real possibility of changes to the industry over the coming year and members were keen to hear the latest updates from the Minister as well as from Andrew Rhodes.”

He continued: “I think both spoke very frankly, and candidly of the problems we face in getting these changes over the line: but I detected a real commitment to see them through, and a desire to work with the industry in delivering the best possible outcomes.

“This applies not only to the White Paper but also to the wave of consultations we are facing in respect of the Levy, the introduction of an Ombudsman, technical standards and many other issues.”

“I was especially pleased to see Andrew Rhodes at the event: significantly he is the first CEO of the Gambling Commission to attend the Convention for over five years. He understands that land-based gaming is a very complex issue, and that the specialist knowledge within the Commission is something that is lacking. I will be taking up his suggestion of industry specialists being seconded to the Commission in order to educate them in respect of our business. I strongly believe that by working together, it will result in better changes and strengthen the trust between our organisations.”

“Whilst there’s still much work to do, I believe that bacta’s reputation as a resource for both regulator and legislator is becoming well-established, and is something that I will look to build upon during my Presidency.”

“My only question would be in relation to the length of the day and the possibility of starting an hour later and ending earlier purely as a way of engaging with members who have to travel into London from further afield. It is certainly something National Council will be reviewing in the coming months.

Chief Executive John White echoed the positivity saying that the Convention was universally well-received. He stated: “I would like to thank the entire bacta team for their hard work in delivering the Convention so efficiently and effectively and to our sponsors Light and Wonder, Blueprint Operations, Novomatic UK, Inspired, Crown and Sega whose support enabled us to put on such a professional event.

“I felt the quality of our speakers reflected the status of our Annual Convention and the high esteem in which bacta is held. Every session had something to take out and I was professionally delighted with the organisation, the content and the delivery.”