The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has highlighted the “huge contribution” the gambling industry makes to the UK economy.
A report published by Ernst & Young and commissioned by the BGC claims that betting shops, casinos and the online gaming sector contributed £7.7bn ($10.6bn) in gross value added to the UK economy in 2019, as well as £4.5bn in taxes to the exchequer. The industry also supports 119,000 jobs.
The report also revealed that 374 betting shops and two casinos have been forced to permanently close due to the pandemic, leading to the estimated loss of 5,000 jobs.
It comes amid the ongoing Government review of the 2005 Gambling Act, with the call for evidence due to come to an end on 31 March 2021. Ministers are then expected to produce a white paper on future regulation of the industry later this year.
Controls on gambling advertising, online stake limits, and the powers of the Gambling Commission are all issues currently under consideration, among many others.
“At a time of economic fears and huge pressures on public finances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the huge contribution betting and gaming makes to UK plc could not be more important,” said BGC chief executive Michael Dugher.
“As the standards body representing the regulated industry, the BGC fully supports the government’s Gambling Review plus the need for continued higher safer gambling standards and more change to regulation. However, it is vital that the government gets those changes right and does nothing to put at risk the future jobs and tax take of a growing, world-leading British industry.”