POLITICIANS visited a seaside town to better understand the amusement and gaming industry ahead of a review of the country’s gambling legislation.

Clacton MP Giles Watling and Maldon MP and minister of state for media and data John Whittingdale, headed to Clacton Pavilion on Monday.

The coastal daytrip was planned to give the minister and his team an insight into the family entertainment and gambling options on offer in the town.

It also proved a chance for both Mr Whittingdale and Mr Watling to hear more about the issues faced by the industry and the challenges coronavirus has created.

Organised by BACTA, the trade association for the amusement and gaming machine industry, provided the pair with first-hand experience of a day-trip to the seaside.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

The ministerial team also enjoyed a traditional afternoon tea in Armstrong’s overlooking the sea before taking a tour of the Pavilion.

The visit came ahead of the White Paper publication and a review of the 2005 Gambling Act, which is being re-looked at to ensure gambling laws are fit for purpose.

Billy Peak, owner of Clacton Pavilion, said it was a pleasure to host Mr Whittingdale and Mr Watling and speak with them about the industry he is apart of.

“We welcomed the opportunity to discuss our business and the family entertainment industry, sharing best practices and the impact of the new gaming act,” he added.

“Amusement machines are an important part of the leisure offering, bringing a great deal of fun to visitors and an important revenue stream.

“Family entertainment business such as ours, although open throughout the year, have seasonal peaks.

“We believe we were able to give the minister a better understanding of the challenges this presents.

“It was lovely to hear how impressed the minister was with Clacton and what it had to offer.”