Discussion of the Gambling Act Review white paper continues apace, and now it’s the turn of the Betting & Gaming Council (BGC) to throw its hat in the ring as it demands MPs to consider the effects the reforms will leave on the industry at large.
BGC chief executive Michael Dugher opened his statement to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee by pointing out the estimated 22.5 million people who “enjoy a bet on a regular basis” – a group whose voice was perhaps lost during the white paper process.
“They’re also people who work hard, pay their taxes, look after their families and it’s what they choose to do with their money,” Dugher continued.
Dugher also insisted that while there is indeed a need to tackle problem gambling, there is “no evidence” supporting the link between sports advertising and problem gambling. This is coupled with the fact problem gambling rates have “nearly halved” since 2017 to reach 0.3%, one of the lowest problem gambling rates internationally.
Industry Workers are also at Stake
Another issue pointed out by Dugher is the plight of industry workers. For instance, the modernisation plans for casinos found in the white paper need to be sped up in order to “save some of those businesses and grow some businesses.”
According to the BGC, the regulated betting and gaming industry contributes no less than £7.1 billion to the economy, generates £4.2 billion in tax and supports 110,000 jobs.
The BGC described the white paper as nothing less than a “once in a generation moment for change” back when it was first published last April. Now it is working with the government and the UKGC in order to ensure its reforms are delivered to the public.