bacta meets with Tracey Crouch

28/02/2018 | No comments

Bacta Chief Executive John White and Vice President James Miller are pictured this week with Tracey Crouch MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport and Civil Society. “We added some evidence to the case for a £2 stake on FOBTs (the CEBR Report) but spent most of the time explaining why increases for cranes, pushers and non-cash payout machines were warranted and in our view uncontroversial – like prize bingo.  We await her decision,” says John White.

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White’s Week: Post show plans

21/02/2018 | No comments

With our two major exhibitions out of the way and our response to the consultation document on FOBTs, stakes, prizes and SR measures sitting with DDCMS, it is a good time to take stock of our current activities.

  1. The campaign to secure a reduction in stake on FOBTs to £2 continues.  Now the responses have all been submitted, bacta’s work to communicate the case for a reduction moves very much to direct explanation with relevant stakeholders and continued efforts to get the message across in the media.  Our Report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research, which we commissioned to help the review establish more accurately the impact of the necessary policy decision on FOBTs, has landed well both with the media and with civil servants and MPs.  I am not surprised as it is a very comprehensive and persuasive piece of work that identifies that in all likelihood the impact of a decision to reduce the FOBT stake to £2 will not have anything like the impact the Government’s initial assessment identified.  We are taking the Treasury through the Report this week.  The Report has secured good media coverage too – I appeared on BBC Radio Scotland for example this morning to explain why the stake reduction was necessary.  A whole host of events with MPs will give us further opportunities to make the case.
  1. Our response to the DDCMS consultation document was not only about FOBTs.  We explained that the consultation document was simply wrong in its refusal to address the case for an uplift in stake and prize for category D non-complex machines and machines that pay out non-monetary prizes.
  1. We will be putting our case to the DDCMS Minister, Tracey Crouch, at the end of the month.
  1. I thought this year’s EAG was one of the best in recent years with an increased number of exhibitors and every corner of the hall feeling quietly busy.  Reports back from exhibitors have been generally positive.  A solid seminar programme enhanced visitors’ experience of the show and there was some interesting new product around.  VR systems particularly caught my eye and Kevin Williams’ seminar on the subject really got visitors thinking.
  1. Social Responsibility continues to be front and centre of our work.  As I said at the Convention doing more and doing it well is a precondition of any further changes in stakes, prizes and indeed Technical Standards.  It is why we have promoted Simon Bradbury to an enhanced role of Head of Social Responsibility and Compliance following Phil Silver’s retirement.  He is currently putting together a schedule of initiatives which we will roll out over the coming months and years.
  1. Simon (or Brad as we call him), is working with Robert Gibb, our Head of Finance, on the evaluation of ourSelf-Exclusion service.  We consulted members on how it is working during last year and there are a number of minor changes we would like to make to the way it works.  Plans have had to be postponed for a short while as the MD of our service provider, ISD, sadly died towards the end of last year and we are working with the Bingo Association and the interim MD to plan for the future.  We believe that the outcome will be positive.
  1. We are continuing to explore how the industry can meet the challenge of a future society where cashless payment is the norm.  An industry meeting is being held in March.
  1. We have responded to the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board’s second year progress assessment of its strategic plan.
  1. We are also preparing a response to the Gambling Commission’s consultation on changes to the LCCP linked to the fair and open licensing objective.
  1. We are holding talks with PPL and PRS over their tariffs.

As you can see there is plenty going on and there is plenty more I haven’t mentioned.  As always if you have any questions or observations please do get in touch.  Better still come along to your Regional Meeting.  Parveen circulated the dates for the year, last week.

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Joyce’s February Chat Column

21/02/2018 | No comments

HC Terminals Richard Long played Santa once again donating all the prizes mainly cuddly toys that he has won in cranes and grab machines in local hostelries in his area but he also has the odd flutter or two when he goes on holiday. Then he donates the prizes to Radio Aires Cash For Kids Mission Christmas Campaign who ensure that all kids in the local area wake up on Christmas morning with a present, which some without the kindness of Richard and other people would not have a present to open. Richard had a happy childhood and also had lots of presents especially at Christmas but even at this early age he did know that some poor children did not get at least one present, and he thought that must be dreadful. Richard’s kindness has spread in his local area and people are now actually coming to him with donations for the campaign which is great and so far in 2017 he himself had donated over 100 toys to this worthy campaign.  Well done Richard, you should be very proud of yourself and if the world had more people like you around what a better world it would be.

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Cost of Problem FOBT Gambling Tops £10m

14/02/2018 | 1 comment

The cost of problem gambling associated with FOBTs has topped £10m in a dozen local authority districts, and is concentrated in economically deprived areas, new analysis shows.

Cebr, the economics consultancy, examined the loss of welfare to problem gamblers who use FOBTs, taking into account the impact on their employment, mental and physical health, and financial, family and housing stability amongst other factors.

It estimates a total loss in welfare of £1.12bn to FOBT problem gamblers, which is concentrated in some of the most deprived areas of the UK.

Glasgow City is the local authority most affected, with problem gamblers in Scotland’s largest city suffering to the tune of an estimated £27.06m. The other worst-hit areas are Birmingham (£20.88m), Liverpool (£18.66m), Manchester (£14.58m) and Leeds (£13.96m).

All five local authorities rank highly on the Index of Multiple Deprivation, a Government metric which assesses deprivation across indicators including health, education and crime. Cebr has converted the Government figures into an index ranking local authorities from 0 to 100 (100 representing the most deprived) and the five areas all have scores of over 70, compared to the national average of 59.

Other authorities experiencing particularly high levels of gambling-related harm from FOBTs are the City of Edinburgh (£13.71m), Westminster (£12.73m), Brent (£11.98m), County Durham (£11.24m) and Newham (£10.25m).

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ICE proves a big success for Innovative Technology

14/02/2018 | No comments

Leading cash handling equipment provider Innovative Technology Ltd. (ITL) exhibited their full range of cash handling and TITO products at the largest European gaming exhibition last week. ITL gave new and existing customers a first glimpse of their latest innovation, the NV9 Spectral which attracted considerable interest on the stand.

Enrique Jütten, VP of Sales & Business Development commented, “ICE proved to be a great success for us again this year and we were delighted with the constant stream of visitors to the stand over the three days. A key highlight on our stand was the NV9 Spectral which we showcased on the first day of ICE giving our customers an exclusive first look at this exciting next generation note validator. The NV9 Spectral – The most technically advanced note validator in its class – is a highly secure and technologically advanced banknote validator, offering casino level security. Customers were keen to hear about its optical and mechanical anti-strimming technology which will give operators outstanding fraud protection, alongside extra security features including stained note detection. We know it will prove to be a very popular product when it’s fully launched to the market this Summer. It was also great to see our note validators and SMART Coin System products on a number of fellow exhibitor stands including the NV9 & NV200 inside several sports betting machines.”

ITL’s NV200 Spectral was also a hit for visitors to the ITL stand for the second year running. The state of the art sensing technology offers complete note image capture (highest spectral coverage) to authenticate the validity of notes. The unit boasts 99%+ first time acceptance of new and street grade notes with a note to note processing time of 2 seconds.

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SEGA Reports Resounding Success at EAG!

12/02/2018 | No comments

Europe’s biggest amusement show the EAG Expo was a resounding success for Sega Amusements International the company reports. Having made what General Manager Justin Burke calls “our biggest and most theatrical display of games during the show’s history, we are delighted with the outcome on all fronts”. Games from all amusement genres were exhibited and also on the stand was Sega’s Parts & Customer Service division Sega Total Solutions (STS) and licensed plush & prizes supplier Sega Prize International (SPI).

Sega presented the entire ‘Skill Wall’ in all its glory which includes six top performing game titles. Having grown in popularity, the skill wall includes a range of interactive skill-based games banked together to create a feature in any location. This collection of games creates a ‘family fun zone’ that brings a new level of excitement for players and income for operators. The skill wall includes games such as Bean Bag Toss, Down The Clown, Ice Ball FX and Milk Jug Toss and the latest addition Hoopla.

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Monte Carlo from Electrocoin: In Elektra and Eclipse at ICE

31/01/2018 | No comments

Electrocoin go into ICE 2018 on the crest of a wave as a result of the rave reviews for their Cat C Monte Carlo digital platform. ‘The customer feedback for the new content and increased player selection options has been excellent, even to the extent that one operator has named it as ‘machine of the year’ said Electrocoin’s John Stergides. He added. ‘We will be showing Monte Carlo in the new Elektra cabinet as well as the Gemstar Eclipse rebuild, thus offering options for all sectors of the arcade and single site sectors. Both will feature a library of 22 games with up to 18 being available at any time to the player. We have also included some classic Bar X type games at lower stake and prize settings which will widen the appeal to players in all venues’. 

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EAG hosts latest CHIPS presentation

30/01/2018 | No comments

The biggest smile at last week’s EAG belonged to four year-old, Shakira-Leigh Jolley who became the latest recipient of a  powered wheelchair funded by the gaming industry charity, CHIPS.  Shakira, who has Cerebral Palsy which affects her balance and limits her mobility, received her bespoke chair at a presentation which took place on the middle day of the Bacta owned event.

Linda Lindsay, co-founder of CHIPS said: “I’m delighted to be able to make our latest presentation in front of the industry that has contributed so much to the CHIPS charity.  Since our formation in 2001 we have raised over £2m thanks to the wonderful generosity of our corporate supporters and their customers, the vast majority of whom are active in the UK gaming industry.  CHIPS chairs quite literally change lives, not only impacting  the individual but the family unit as a whole, comprising parents, carers, grandparents and siblings.
“Shakira’s condition means that she falls over frequently and as a result has little or no independence.  Despite this she is unable to receive an NHS funded chair. The sad reality is the demand for powered wheelchairs will always exceed our ability to supply them, but thanks to the outstanding compassion of the gaming industry we are able to give little girls like Shakira the gift of freedom that comes with mobility.”
CHIPS continues to set the highest fundraising standards with 100% of monies raised going towards the provision of powered wheelchairs for children throughout the United Kingdom
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Live 5 Gaming Hits the Ground Running in 2018

30/01/2018 | No comments

 Live 5 Gaming, one of the most rapidly expanding games design houses in the UK right now, reveals its ambitious plans for the first quarter of 2018.

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SUZOHAPP to present market-leading solutions at ICE

30/01/2018 | No comments

The ICE show is set to open its doors in London between the 6th and 8th of February. SUZOHAPP will be exhibiting at Stand #N4-110 to showcase the highlights from its portfolio of unique components and solutions that meets the demands of various gaming market segments.

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