Easter Sets the Tone for the Year, Claims Cullis

    Amid the anticipation of Easter's bustling trade, Joseph Cullis, Vice President of Bacta and a seasoned industry veteran, underscores the critical role of this holiday period as a catalyst for business momentum. "For some operators, Easter will mark their peak fortnight of the year," Cullis confirms, reflecting on the pivotal significance of this season's kickoff. "It sets the tone for the business year ahead, often driving decisions for further investments in machinery, especially in preparation for the lucrative summer season."

    Preparations for Easter, Cullis emphasizes, commence months in advance, highlighting the strategic importance of maintaining a healthy interval between the EAG and the Easter break. "EAG serves as a linchpin for the industry's vitality," he asserts. "It's where operators finalize investment choices and commit to orders. Securing new equipment entails substantial investment, necessitating a buffer between EAG and Easter to ensure timely delivery and optimize returns, particularly in the face of recent disruptions to shipping and the supply chain."

    Despite a welcomed dip in inflation rates to a two-year low, Cullis contends that the industry's challenges extend beyond mere cost-of-living considerations to encompass the broader "cost of doing business." "Businesses, regardless of size, confront formidable obstacles," he notes. "The sharp 9.8 percent rise in the National Living Wage directly impacts profit margins, compounded by labour shortages and local-level escalations in business rates."

    In response to these challenges, Bacta has undergone a structural overhaul, aligning itself to be more attuned to its members' needs and agile in addressing industry hurdles. "Bacta's reconfiguration allows for a more inclusive dialogue," Cullis explains. "With representation spanning AGCs and FECs nationwide, we're empowered to advocate for fair regulations that support businesses across the board, from independent operators to larger enterprises."

    Reflecting on Bacta's strides post-restructuring, Cullis expresses confidence in the association's trajectory. "While progress is ongoing, our policy decisions have been sound, propelling us in the right direction," he asserts.

    Since the unveiling of The White Paper in April 2023, Bacta has been an influential voice in advocating for the interests of low-stakes, low-prize gambling businesses, leveraging its revamped structure to swiftly and authoritatively champion member concerns. "Bacta's fundamental mission remains unchanged: safeguarding and advancing our members' interests," Cullis concludes. "And with our enhanced structure, we're better equipped than ever to fulfil that mandate."

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    27 March 2024

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