Backing for political campaign

MERKUR UK which has hosted a total of 50 MPs at its high street venues over the last 24 months, believes the industry should use the platform provided by the forthcoming General Election to open what it referred to as a ‘co-ordinated and ongoing dialogue with elected representatives.’

Tony Boulton, who has overseen the brand’s engagement programme in his capacity as MERKUR UK’s Director of Public and Political Relations said: “Our experience has shown the value of hosting elected representatives in venue and in their constituencies.

“MPs have arrived at our venues with the baggage of outdated stereotypes and have left with a much more open mind having seen what we mean by the gambling entertainment experience, met with staff and customers – most of whom will have been their constituents – and learned about our commitments and undertakings to deliver socially responsible value for money entertainment.”

He added: “We endorse the call made last week by Jeremy Godden for Bacta members to reach out to their Prospective Parliamentary Candidates ahead of the Election and to involve the trade association which can supply relevant briefing notes.

“Jeremy is absolutely right when he says that Prospective Parliamentary Candidates need to understand why the changes proposed in the white paper are crucial to the long term sustainability of the industry supply chain and to encourage the incoming government to complete the modernisation of our outdated gambling regulations.”

“I would add that political engagement shouldn’t be something that we undertake as and when the industry is faced with a specific problem or issue. To be effective it needs to be an on-going programme of conversations with our elected representatives both in good and challenging times.

“The make-up of Parliament after July 4 will be transformed and Bacta members have an opportunity to build new and productive relationships with what is likely to be the first Labour Government since Gordon Brown lost the General Election in 2010.”

Bacta has launched  to make it straightforward for members to invite parliamentary candidates to their venues ahead of the General Election. Members who secure a meeting are being requested to contact in order to receive the latest briefing materials.