Earlier this month, the Bingo Association announced its appointment of a new Chief Executive, Miles Baron, following the resignation of the former post-holder, Paul Talboys.
If you’ve not come across the Association before, it aims to represent the bingo industry, and “aid and inform sector operation and development.” It was formed in 1998, after two existing groups merged – the Bingo Association of Great Britain, and the British Bingo Operators’ Association. The BA gets involved in various activities, such as working with operators and owners of clubs, advising central government and policy-makers, and aiding organisations relating to problem gambling. Its Executive Council members include representatives from companies like Mecca, Carlton, Castle Leisure and Coronet.
The departure of Paul Talboys may come as a surprise to many, considering that he's been with the BA since its early days in May 2000, having previously worked in the industry for over 30 years. During his time with them, he helped to steer the group through a number of challenges, including the introduction of the new UK Gambling Act in 2005, and the smoking ban in 2007, which saw many local clubs suffer significantly as a direct result.
His replacement, Miles Baron, comes fresh from his role as Sales and Marketing Director at Mecca Bingo, having clocked up 29 years service. Mr. Baron is certainly no stranger to the Association, as he's been a member of their Executive Council since 2009.
The Association’s Chairman, Mark Jones, thanked Mr. Talboys for his “significant contribution” over the years, and wished him well for the future. He also confirmed that Paul will continue to work alongside them on a consultancy basis for the next two years. Mr. Jones also stated that the appointment of their new Chief Executive, Miles Baron, will help to “promote and develop the work of the Association,” and help them “shape and focus our sector agenda.”
Back in July 2012, the BA voiced its concerns over the impending consequences of the Government’s 20% tax rate on the industry, and is lobbying the Chancellor of the Exchequer to lower taxes to a figure more in line with the 15% currently placed on land-based bookmakers. The Association’s Chairman at the time (Mark Jones) explained that even an industry giant like Mecca had been unable to open any new land-based clubs since 2009, due to uncertainty over the future of land-based bingo halls. As Mr. Jones has only been in the role a few months himself, we’re sure he’ll be able to help Mr. Baron get quickly up-to-speed.