BGC report underscores role betting and gaming plays in the economy

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According to the new EY report, funded by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), their members contributed £7.7 billion in gross value added to the UK economy in 2019. It comes as the government prepares the most significant overhaul of betting laws in 15 years. According to a new survey, British betting shops, casinos, and the online gaming industry fund 119,000 jobs and raise £4.5 billion in tax to the Treasury.

The Gambling Review’s call for evidence is scheduled to close on March 31. Ministers expected to deliver a White Paper on potential industry regulation later that year.

BGC provides jobs for the youth.

According to the EY survey, the BGC’s members – including betting shops, casinos, and online – directly employed 61,000 people in 2019, with an additional 58,000 jobs created by their supply chains. Nearly one-fifth of those working in the industry (19%) are under 25. More than half (51%) are under 35.

These are much higher proportions than in the overall economy. It shows how important they are in offering young people entry-level employment.

The North of England and Scotland account for 22,000 of the 61,000 direct workers, with London accounting for 15,000. Leeds and Stoke are two cities where the industry is highly significant (case studies below)

BGC makes important contributions.

In 2019, BGC members directly paid £3.2 billion in tax to the Exchequer, accounting for 0.4% of all Treasury revenues. Once taxes paid across the supply chain are factored in, the figure increases to £4.5 billion. BGC members contributed £7.7 billion to UK gross value added (GVA) in 2019.

North, Scotland, and London have the highest economic activity concentrations. Horseracing earns £350 million in funding, broadcast rights, and betting levy fees from BGC members.

BGC members donate at least £40 million to the English Football League and its clubs per year. More than £10 million to darts and snooker, and more than £2.5 million to the rugby league.

Job risks due to pandemic

The study was published as the UK economy struggles with the consequences of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The controlled betting and gaming industry is no exception. The study reveals that 374 betting shops and six casinos have closed since the beginning of 2020, resulting in an approximate loss of 5,000 jobs.

An estimated 30 million people in the United Kingdom enjoy a bet, with the most of doing so quite safely. According to the government, problem gambling is 0.5% and has remained steady for the past 20 years. However, one problem gambler is one too many, which is why the BGC backs the Gambling Review and is willing to keep working to raise standards and promote safer gambling.

Adoption of Gambling safety precautions

“At a period of economic fears and strains on public finances caused by the pandemic, the huge contribution betting and gaming brings to UK plc could not be more essential,” said Michael Dugher, chief executive of the BGC.

EY’s most recent definitive study lays out in black and white the crucial role they play in supporting the public services on which we all depend. The BGC, as the standards body representing the regulated industry, completely supports the Government’s Gambling Review. Hence, encourages the need for continued, more significant safer gambling standards and further regulatory change.

“However, it is essential that the Government implements such reforms correctly. And does not jeopardize the potential employment and tax revenue of a growing, world-leading British industry,” he explained.

Gaming – Large contributor to UK economy

“From hospitality to high streets, the betting and gaming sector makes a significant contribution to the UK economy,” said Brigid Simmonds, chairman of the BGC.

Casinos in London itself contribute £120 million to the tourism industry and are ready to reopen. The betting and gaming sector’s contribution to the Treasury, its support for sport, and the jobs it provides to young people, many of whom are highly qualified, are crucial, particularly in these difficult times.”

 

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Nassima Azmzm

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