Gauselmann UK launches political charm offensive

31 July 2020

Gauselmann UK, the British subsidiary of the German gaming giant, has launched its Constituency Campaign, a new push to develop closer relationships with politicians representing the communities it serves, and to highlight the benefits of its business.

The initiative was launched with the operator welcoming Conservative MP for Rugby, Mark Pawsey, to the Warwickshire town’s Merkur Cashino adult gaming centre (AGC).

Mr Pawsey was hosted at the AGC by Mark Schertle, chief operating officer of the Cashino brand's operator Praesepe, as well as Gauselmann UK’s director of public and political relations, Tony Boulton, and head of compliance, Amanda Kiernan.

Gauselmann UK described the core objective of its political campaign as getting to know as many as possible of the MPs representing those constituencies where the group operates gaming venues.

“From our perspective, it’s absolutely vital that MPs understand exactly what the AGC sector is all about," Boulton explained.

"A lack of understanding has often been the root cause of many of the policy/political miss-steps that have held back the industry, something which we simply cannot afford as we approach the review of the Gambling Act.”

The Member of Parliament added: “It was great to visit the Merkur Cashino in Rugby, meet the team and to see the measures that they’ve put in place to make the AGC a Covid-secure environment for visitors.”

“Now more than ever, it’s absolutely vital to support local businesses on our high streets as we look to rebuild and recover after lockdown. The months ahead will be challenging for businesses and retailers, but the government is committed to ensuring they have the support they need, and it was important for me to get honest feedback from Tony, Mark and the team. I look forward to visiting again soon to see how things are progressing.”

The anticipated review of the Gambling Act is a major topic of discussion in the UK gaming industry at present. Garnering broad public and political support, it's expected to be launched by the current government this year, after being among the manifesto pledges which saw the Conservative Party elected in 2019.

Updates such as the classification of loot boxes as gambling products, a ban on overdraft or credit card use for gambling, and further restrictions on advertising are among the measures being called for.

With potential pitfalls for the industry looming, Boulton went on to explain that meeting MPs face-to-face to discuss industry concerns “has to be far more effective than writing a letter or sending an email.

"Instead, our focus is on building relationships and creating a dialogue with our constituency MPs.”