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Gambling Commission’s visit to the Grand Pier pays off

Thursday 18th April

A visit from the Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission to Weston-super-Mare’s Grand Pier last year has helped forge a better relationship between the industry and the regulator.

The Commission’s Neil McArthur visited the Pier following his keynote speech to the British Amusement Catering Trade Association (BACTA) convention last November where he said the Commission were developing an internal initiative to help build deeper levels of understanding between the Commission and those it regulates.

Mr McArthur, said: “It’s really important that the Commission understands what it’s like to work in different parts of the industry, who the customers are, and understand the several day-to-day challenges.

“Speaking to the staff, one of the first things that struck me was just how much effort everyone put into treating their customers fairly and how they would go the extra mile to ensure people were enjoying the experience. Every question from a customer was answered with a smile and customer care was clearly a priority.”

Mr McArthur’s visit has seen the Commission launching its own job shadowing initiative branded ‘Hot Shoes’ which will give Gambling Commission employees the chance to gain a similar first-hand experience in different parts of the industry – with assistant licencing manager Jaska Latham following in the CEO’s footsteps and spending two days at the Grand Pier.

Jaska added: “Family Entertainment Centres and Adult Gaming Centres aren’t part of my current specialism, so I learned a lot during the visit, gaining a better understanding of the variety of machines available, of how age verification checks were completed and much more.

“The Grand Pier is more of an entertainment venue where you could spend the whole day rather than just a traditional arcade.

“I would thoroughly recommend the Hot Shoes scheme. I learned so much from seeing the processes and procedures at the Grand Pier in action and I am certain that the placement will enable me to do my job more effectively.”

Tim Moyle, General Manager of the Grand Pier, said: “When we were first asked to host the Gambling Commission we immediately welcomed the idea.

“To have the opportunity to show the behind-the-scenes workings of our operation to the Chief Executive was unprecedented, and we were delighted by the comments he made afterwards, demonstrating that he clearly found the visit extremely insightful.

“Needless to say we had no hesitation in offering to host further visits, and I’m very pleased that Jaska found her time with us so beneficial.”

Gabino Stergides, President of Bacta (British Amusement Catering Trade Association), said: “We were delighted when Neil McArthur accepted our invitation last year to roll up his sleeves and spend time in a Bacta member’s venue.

“It’s clear from his experience that he gained a lot from the visit and I’m delighted that the initiative is continuing.

“Anything which improves the understanding of the sector must surely lead to better regulation, and I am very pleased that the Grand Pier in Weston once again agreed to be a host.”

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