The Betting and Gaming Council pledges support for the UK economy, but warns against anti-growth tax rises and regulations

Home » The Betting and Gaming Council pledges support for the UK economy, but warns against anti-growth tax rises and regulations

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The UK Betting and Gaming Council, (BGC), pledged to support the economy by delivering on Government’s economic plan of Enterprise, Education, Employment and Everywhere, but warned against any measures that would hinder growth, jeopardize jobs, or compromise the customer experience for millions.

Regulated gaming and betting already make a significant economic contribution in the UK. A recent EY report revealed that BGC members support 110,000 job opportunities, generate PS4.2bn tax, and contribute PS7.1bn to GDP.

They also fund horseracing up to PS350m through sponsorships, media rights, and the betting levy. This provides PS40m for English Football League clubs and millions for rugby league, darts, and snooker.

The Budget (WEDS) for this year is held during Cheltenham Festival. This week is one of the most important weeks in the gaming and regulated betting industry’s calendar. Millions of punters will be able to responsibly place a wager.

Cheltenham will host around 274,000 people, which will generate an estimated PS274m in local economic activity. Meanwhile, an estimated PS1bn of stakes will be placed across four days worth of racing.

The live coverage will be available for 20 hours during the week. There are approximately one million viewers per day and a peak on Friday at the Gold Cup.

This contribution and millions of punters’ experiences like that at Cheltenham could be at risk from any tax increases or proposed reforms of betting laws.

Apart from the ongoing regulatory challenges facing this sector, all businesses, including BGC members such as betting shops, bingo, and casinos, are trying to rebuild after a series major economic blows. These include a slower than expected recovery following the global pandemic, rising energy costs, inflation near double digits, and the long overdue reforms of business rates.

Michael Dugher is the CEO of BGC. He stated that “The regulated sector already plays an important role in the UK’s economy, and we are eager to go further and make even more contributions.” To achieve this goal, we need a probusiness budget, no tax increases, and a balanced gambling White Paper. This White Paper will protect the vulnerable, but not ruin the experience for the majority of those who gamble safely.

“Our industry includes British tech companies that are world-class, and businesses that support high street retail as well as those working in the tourism, hospitality, and leisure sectors. Ministers must protect investment and jobs in this difficult time. While we want to see major changes that make safer gambling more secure, new taxes and harsh regulations could put businesses at serious risk.

“We must see long-overdue changes to help land-based casinos, in particular, with their recovery. We must also stop blanket, low-level ‘affordability’ checks that are too intrusive. These, like those proposed by the antigambling lobby, only serve to drive people to the unregulated, unsafe black market online. This is where there are no safer gambling protections and not a penny in tax to government.

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