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Cost-of-living crisis creating gaming industry staff shortages, Bacta study finds

The British Amusement Catering Trade Association (Bacta) has reported issues in staff recruitment at UK seaside arcades and adult gaming centres.

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In a study of its members, the trade body found that a large majority of respondents were having trouble finding “willing and able employees,” with some suggesting additional worries about the financial future of their companies.

Members were asked to rate the difficulty of staff recruitment on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the most difficult. The average answer from arcade and adult gaming centre leaders was 7.2.

Results were more positive when asked about staff retention, with an average score of 3.8 out 10 recorded.

Inflation has risen to 9% in the 12 months leading to April 2022, with Bacta members reporting an average score of 6.9 out of 10 on the impact this rise has had on prices and wages.

Average scores of 5 and 5.2 for the short and long-term financial futures of member companies were reported in the study, with short-term worries including insurance rate increases, wage increases and rising energy bills. There was a general consensus among members that passing on these additional costs to customers would only work to further fuel inflation.

Bacta CEO John White said: “The resilience of the industry never fails to amaze me, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic when members faced the toughest social and economical challenges of a generation.

"The subsequent cost-of-living crisis now presents new challenges to our members, with soaring energy bills, insurance rates being increased and wages being hiked across the board.

“We are making sure these challenges are being heard by the Government and policymakers across the country. We also want to work closely with our members to help alleviate some of these concerns as best as we can.”

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