Gambling row - Wednesday 28th of May 2008
DESPERATE arcade owners in Burnham and Brean say new gaming laws are killing their trade and gambling with the future of both seaside towns.
The Weekly News has spoken to several seafront amusement arcade owners who have been forced to make costly changes to comply with the Gambling Act - with one losing out £100,000.
Some owners also claim tourists have stayed away since regulations - introduced to discourage reckless gambling - have forced them to remove their gaming machines and lower jackpots.
Burnham MP David Heathcoat-Amory has even called for a law change in parliament, saying the rules threaten the future of seaside tourism.
Louise Parkin, joint managing director of The Pavilion arcade in Burnham, said she has had to remove 52 of her 56 machines and has had to fork out £100,000 on changes to comply with the law - but takings have still fallen by 27%.
She added: "Now I need several different licences plus an operators licence, costing thousands of pounds.
"We have already cut down staff hours and we may have to cut down again. They have also had a cut in wages."
Louises father Harry Parkin, also joint managing director of The Pavilion, said a £35,000 machine called Elvis, with a £500 jackpot, had to have many of its features removed and reduced to a £35 jackpot - at the expense of £5,000.
Arthur Price, under manager at Sunspot Amusements, near Burnhams pier, said the laws had also hit his trade, while John Clarke said they have been "absolutely devastating" for his Stardust Amusement Arcade in Brean.
He said: "We have seen around a 30% drop in takings over the last ten months - families are not going in anymore.
"Its not just gambling it affects. It is bound to have an impact on tourism because seaside arcades are part of the seaside experience - and if they cant offer the services they had before then it is not going to be the same."
Mr Clarke said he feared for the future of his business and others along the Brean seafront.
Other news from around the same time
Ricoh casino takeover bid - Wednesday 28th of May 2008
A NEW operator is bidding to take over Coventrys Ricoh casino.It was revealed last night that a pote....
Insolvency team called in by crisis-hit bookie - Wednesday 28th of May 2008
TROUBLED bookmaker Neville Porter has appointed an insolvency expert to strike a deal with its credi....
Tropicanas former owners want casino license back - Wednesday 28th of May 2008
Six months after they were run out of town, and with the search for a new owner nearing the finish l....
Hoosier Park getting ready to open casino - Wednesday 28th of May 2008
Owners say more than 500 new employees will be needed to operate the soon-to-open casino side of Hoo....
Court sides with casino boats - Wednesday 28th of May 2008
The S.C. Supreme Court ruled 4-1 Monday that casino boat companies do not have to report monthly wag....
Hard landing: Casino slowly being demolished - Wednesday 28th of May 2008
More than a year after closing, the Nevada Landing is history. Since mid-February, MGM Mirage has be....
Champs splash £100k at casino - Wednesday 28th of May 2008
MANCHESTER United stars toasted winning the Premier League with a £100,000 gambling spree – but l....
Bartlett scolds casino critics - Tuesday 27th of May 2008
In his most scathing remarks yet against the detractors of casino gambling, Tourism Minister Edmund ....
US slump deals bad hand to gambling - Tuesday 27th of May 2008
JAMES PACKERS publicly listed gambling company, Crown, and the poker machine maker Aristocrat are br....
Ontario man wins $1 million at poker tournament in Barcelona - Tuesday 27th of May 2008
An Ontario man who captured the million-dollar first prize at a poker tournament in Barcelona on the....