Bacta Alleges Members Discriminated Against By Banks Due To Gambling Links August 17, 2023 Mike Ashley

Bacta Alleges Members Discriminated Against By Banks Due To Gambling Links


  • Bacta CEO accuses banks of unfair treatment over their refusal to accommodate Bacta members
  • Banks have terminated their services for Bacta members because of their gambling links
  • White argued that amusement arcade operators are operating legally and must be treated fairly

Bacta CEO John White has met with UK government officials to raise concerns over the “unfair treatment” experienced by amusement arcade operators when availing of services from the banking sector. White said some banks have stopped serving Bacta members at short notice because they see gambling as a “money laundering risk”.

Bacta Members Treated Unfairly by Banks Due to their Gambling Links

Providing evidence before the Treasury Select Committee, White claimed that some banks appear to be making decisions based on their moral principles and political stance without providing clear explanations. Other banks also refuse to cater to Bacta members because they think gambling poses a reputational risk which contradicts their policies regarding Corporate Social Responsibility.

Amusement arcade operators, which are often small and medium-sized businesses, cannot afford to take the matter to court as they simply lack the resources, especially if major banks are involved, White added.

White made it clear before the Committee that the UK’s amusement arcade industry is “highly regulated”, with operators conducting their business in accordance with the UK Gambling Commission’s (UKGC) Licence Conditions and Code of Practice (LCCP). Outside of this, Bacta members also comply with the association’s Code of Conduct and Social Responsibility Charter to maintain high operating standards.

White described as “preposterous” the conduct of banks refusing to provide their services to Bacta members just because of their gambling links. He said legality and not morals must be the primary basis of judgment in terms of whether or not banks should offer their services to a gambling business.

The refusal by some banks to cater to Bacta members presents huge challenges to the affected operators, as they would need to look for another bank which would cost them a lot of time and money. This scenario will also significantly impact the debt position of customers, White stated.

Bacta Continues to Fight for Members’ Interests

White has been providing evidence before the UK parliament this summer into the issues and challenges faced by Bacta members. In July, he met with members of the Culture, Media, and Sport Committee to discuss the recommendations of the Gambling Act Review White Paper and their potential impact on the UK’s low-stake gaming industry.

Among the proposals tackled during the meeting was the introduction of cashless gaming. Bacta’s position on this is that operators should be allowed to continue to offer cash as a payment option to ensure payment diversity.

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