Pilot Heidi Kennedy
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has been urged to deliver a “Budget for jobs” for the regulated gambling industry when he comes before the House of Commons. The call comes from Michael Dugher, the Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC).
Dugher used a report from earlier this year to highlight how the regulated gambling industry has helped to support the Treasury in recovering from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This report suggested that 119,000 jobs are supported by members of the Betting and Gaming Council.
He also emphasised the significant economic contributions made by the industry, with the report showing it contributed £7.7 billion in gross value added and £4.5 billion in tax to the economy. This is alongside providing £350 million through sponsorship, betting levy and media rights to help fund horseracing, £40 million to the football leagues and clubs in England and millions more in funding for other sports.
This support for the UK economy is expected to continue, with the BGC committing its support to the Government’s Plan for Jobs scheme, which is expected to create 5,000 apprenticeships by 2025.
After facing months of closure and uncertainty throughout the lockdown, many land-based casinos and betting shops are starting to return to a sense of normality. “Our members are ready, willing and able to assist in the post-pandemic economic recovery,” Dugher stated. “They already support tens of thousands of jobs across the UK, helping to generate billions of pounds in revenue for the Treasury, and with ambitious plans for further expansion in the years to come.”
These “hard-pressed high streets and the badly hit hospitality sector” now require a commitment of budget and support from the UK government. This much-needed “Budget for jobs” would help to secure a continuation of growth, as well as the promotion of tech companies throughout Britain, which support online betting firms amongst other industries.
It is important for Dugher’s calls to be answered, not only for the industry to thrive but for the benefit of economic recovery in the UK as well. Dugher added: “I, therefore, hope that the Chancellor delivers a Budget for jobs that will help to repair the damage done by COVID, sustain the economic recovery and – with the full support of the regulated betting and gaming industry – help Britain to build back better”. Sunak has yet to confirm whether this critical support for the industry will be forthcoming.