BGC Reiterates Warning About New Gambling Laws in the UK

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has repeated its warnings to the British government to avoid introducing any new gambling laws. The organisation has also repeated its support for a government plan in the United Kingdom to restore the economy. According to the BGC, the gambling industry will support the economy, warning that the contribution could be “significantly jeopardised” if new tax reforms or overly strict regulations are included in the long-awaited white paper.

On Monday, industry association Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) indicated on its website that they support the “Enterprise, Education, Employment and Everywhere” economic plan. With the plan, the government in the United Kingdom hopes to put an end to the economic crisis in the country. The online gambling industry is expected to make a vast contribution to the country’s overall GDP, worth NZ $ 12,49bn in 2022.

Gambling Industry Making Significant Contribution to British Economy

Jeremy Hunt is this week due to come with his first budget as the British Chancellor of the Exchequer. According to the BGC, a recent report from Ernst & Young shows that the regulated gambling industry is already making a significant contribution to the economy in the UK. Online casinos are said to provide 110,000 jobs, generate £4.2bn (NZ$ 8.2bn) in tax, and contribute a further £7.2bn (NZ$ 14.05bn) in GVA to the domestic economy.

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Michael Dugher, CEO of the BGC, says:

“The regulated sector already plays a huge role in the UK economy, and we are eager to take it further and contribute even more. But to deliver on this ambition, we need a pro-business budget, no new tax increases and a well balanced white paper that protects the vulnerable while not threatening the customer experience of the majority who are able to bet perfectly safely.”

Michael Dugher, CEO of BGC

BGC Warns Against Regulation

The contribution of the regulated gambling industry could be dented if too strict regulation is introduced in the UK, the BGC emphasises in its latest call. The gambling industry has been waiting for months for the white paper on the revision of the gambling law. The contribution could be jeopardised should there be new tax increases or too strict regulations for gambling, according to the BGC. The reform is expected to set stricter rules for limits, bonuses, advertising, and taxes.

A mandatory “affordability check” for all players, giving the online casino operator into one’s financial status has been under fire as it is regarded as a breach of someone’s privacy. The former Labour MP still considers the potential imposition of these checks on gaming businesses, which is also seen as one of the more controversial. The industry association therefore warns and reiterates their call for the new regulations not to be made too strict as they could have an opposite effect:

“Our industry includes the world’s leading UK technology, as well as various companies supporting high street retail, and businesses in the hospitality, tourism and leisure sectors. Ministers must protect investment and jobs in these difficult times. We want to see big changes that further strengthen safer gambling, but new taxes and draconian regulations will put businesses at risk.”

Michael Dugher, CEO BGC

Dugher adds:

“We need to see long overdue changes to help brick and mortar casinos in particular with their recovery. And we need to end intrusive, generic, low-level “affordability checks” such as those called for by the anti-gambling lobby. They only lead customers to the insecure, unregulated market, where responsible play policies are inexistent and where not a penny of tax is paid to the Treasury.”

Michael Dugher, CEO BGC

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Driving Players to Non-regulated Websites

Research by the BGC found that restrictions on gambling will most likely drive players to the non-regulated market. A large proportion of those that took part in the survey expressed their overall expectation that more restrictions will push people towards illegal online casinos as these sites have less stringent restrictions. Well-known online casinos such as Bet365, William Hill, Unibet, LeoVegas, and Flutter are affiliated with the BGC.

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