Bacta chief executive John White made the appeal in a letter to Damien Collins, who was recently appointed minister for tech and the digital economy at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
In his new role, Collins will be leading the government’s efforts on gambling and lotteries policy, overseeing the much-anticipated review into the Gambling Act 2005.
Writing in the letter, White raised concerns over reports that the white paper into the review may not support Bacta’s request over debit card transactions for gaming machines and urged a rethink in order to help future-proof the land-based gambling industry.
“It is vital that the upcoming review recognises the importance of the land-based sector to the wider industry, while also taking steps to ensure that those businesses on our high streets, seafronts and across the supply chain are given the support they need to flourish,” White said.
“It is our view that, while the review is supposed to be about bringing the act into the digital age and redressing the balance between online and offline, such a move disadvantages members like ours, and stands in contrast to the wider societal trends towards cashless payments.
“This was a view we set out in a letter to the prime minister last week, and we would welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you directly.”
White also referenced the wider review, saying it provides a “vital opportunity” to update legislation to reflect the modern and rapidly changing nature of the industry.
“The result must be a system which delivers the most socially responsible products, provides the Gambling Commission with the powers it needs, and is fit for purpose in the 21st century,” White said.
“Ahead of the publication of the review, which we have heard could be as soon as next week, we would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss our views on the review and how it can support our members.”