According to a report commissioned by the trade body of the UK gambling sector, 119,000 British jobs are supported by the local gambling industry. The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) further noted that annual tax revenue of £3.2 billion is also being generated by the sector at a time when UK bookmakers are trying to withstand the stricter rules that are being imposed by the country’s gambling regulators.
The BGC report that was compiled by Ernst & Young, casinos, betting shops and the online gambling industry brought a total of £3.2 billion to the Exchequer and added £7.7 billion gross value to the UK economy in 2019. The study carried out by Erns & Young for the gambling industry’s trade body also found that young people would be among the ones set to suffer the most negative consequences if the Government imposes a further crackdown on the sector, as 70% of industry workers are aged under 35.
The report was published ahead of the deadline for submissions to the gambling review that is being held by the Government and is set to close on March 31st.
The Chief Executive Officer of the BGC, Michael Dugher, explained that UK lawmakers should think twice before reducing the huge contribution made by the gambling and betting industry at a time of huge pressure on public finances and economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. As Mr Dugher explained, the gambling industry has been having a major role in bringing considerably large revenue to the country’s coffers.
2005 Gambling Act Reviewed by Legislators to Make it Fit for Digital Age
The review of the 2005 Gambling Act is being held to make sure that the legislative and regulatory framework of the country is suitable to serve the purposes of the modern age and guarantee that appropriate measures are in place in order to protect players.
As previously revealed, the lawmakers are set to take into consideration possible measures against gambling advertising, gambling sponsorship deals in sports and a proposed reduction of online stake limits. They are also expected to review the powers of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).
The Betting and Gaming Council has shared that it supported the review and was doing its best to promote safer gambling among local gamblers. The trade body of the gambling industry, however, also warned that no changes that would put future tax income or jobs at risk should be made by the authorities.
As Casino Guardian has previously reported, gambling operators have suffered significant losses by high-street betting shops closures because of the coronavirus pandemic, although they have benefited from a considerable increase in online gambling rates during the Covid-19 crisis. According to the BGC report, coronavirus lockdown closures have resulted in the permanent closures of 2 casino venues and 374 betting shops, with about 5,000 jobs in the sector lost.
Despite this, anti-gambling campaigners have shared that, in their opinion, the BGC has exaggerated the importance of the role played by the gambling sector in the UK economy.