The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), which is the governing body representing about 90% of the UK gambling and betting sector, has praised the Government for its decision to provide some financial relief thanks to the so-called Covid-10 Package.
The standards body welcomed the confirmation that its members will be eligible to qualify for “a business rates holiday” like other businesses operating in the retail, entertainment and leisure sector. About a week ago, the BGC had urged the UK Government to include the gambling industry in the scheme, after the order for the shutdown of all casino venues, betting outlets and bingo clubs was published.
According to the body that represents most companies that operate in the sector, the majority of the people employed in the country’s gambling and betting industry (about 64,000 individuals) were at risk because of the sector’s inability to currently generate revenue. Furthermore, the licensed sports betting market has also been causing a substantial decline in the overall gambling sector, considering the fact that all major sports events, including horse races and football, had been postponed or cancelled.
Now, the Betting and Gaming Council has welcomed the way the Chancellor responded to the unprecedented coronavirus crisis that has threatened millions of jobs in the industry. The standards body also backed the safer gambling measures to keep both gambling operators’ staff and customers safe, and at the same time keep employees in their jobs.
Business Lockdown Loan Scheme to Remain Interest-Free for 12 Months
The above-mentioned workers’ support package unveiled by the Chancellor includes business rates holiday, along with next quarter’s VAT payments deferred and 80% of the workers’ payments up to £2,500 limit backdated to March 1st and originally open for three months. Apart from that, the special Loan Scheme associated with the business lockdown due to the coronavirus infection would remain with no interest applicable for a 12-month period.
For the time being, more than 70,000 people are employed by the members of the Betting and Gaming Council, which also generate gambling taxes of more than £3 billion on an annual basis. Gambling companies that are also members of the BGC have been reported as contributors of an amount in the range from £120 million to £200 million to the tourism sector of the UK thanks to foreign visitors who spend money on their operations, as well as about £350 million to the horse racing sector.
The chief executive officer of the BGC, Michael Dugher, praised the Government for the efforts it is making not only to beat the Covid-19 infection spreading but also to make sure that local businesses and jobs are protected against the negative impact, which the massive lockdown of the companies would have on their performance.
Mr Dugher also said that the UK gambling sector would, in turn, do its best to help the authorities with the fight against the coronavirus.