In the UK, Gala Coral Group has decided to end its membership in four trade bodies in which it was a member, the Bingo Association, Remote Gambling Association, the Association of British Bookmakers and British Casino Association.
Gala Coral is one of the largest UK-based online casino, bingo and sportsbook operators and revealed that the decision to leave was taken in order to establish an industry-wide gambling association.
“This is not us withdrawing from these associations because we don't think they're very good,” a spokesperson was quoted by The Times newspepr.
“We've got a new Gambling Act and a new regulator but we have separate trade associations where there's a lot of duplication.”
The company behind Mecca Bingo, the Rank Group, is also rumoured to be in favour the concept of a single association but has, so far, not followed gala Coral’s lead. The Bingo Association, which will lose a large chunk of its funding, stated that the question of a single body ‘would be more readily asked from the inside out than the outside in’.
“The Bingo Association has represented the industry in a robust and successful manner, providing a cohesive voice for bingo,” said Sir Peter Fry, Chairman for the Bingo Association.
“ Despite Gala’s decision to be outside this important industry forum and platform, the continued membership of over 75 other leading operators, including Mecca, leaves the Association informed and able to act successfully in representing the industry’s interests.
“The industry has faced a number of challenges in the past 18 months and is still fighting to address some of the key inequalities that remain such as double taxation. In challenging these issues, the Association will remain an important conduit for members to ensure that their views are represented and for Government departments who seek an industry-wide perspective.”