In the United Kingdom and the head of the influential Betting and Gaming Council lobby group has announced that his industry is prepared to back the government’s post-pandemic economic recovery plans.
The Chief Executive Officer for the London-headquartered organization, Michael Dugher (pictured), used an official press release to declare that the British online and land-based gaming industry will support any proposed revival campaign ‘with investment, jobs and tax revenues,’ This scheme is due to be laid out by Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak on Wednesday and could contain measures that would cut domestic fuel duties, raise the national insurance threshold and provide more financial assistance to those paying for childcare.
However, Dugher simultaneously warned the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson not to put the regulated gambling industry of the United Kingdom at risk by pursuing ‘well-meaning but naive changes’ via its upcoming ‘white paper’ review into the future regulation of the nation’s online gambling market. The 46-year-old also noted that his organization’s members support approximately 119,000 domestic jobs and together annually contribute over $10 billion to the British economy alongside almost $6 billion in tax.
“Our members are ready, willing and able to assist in the Chancellor’s post-coronavirus economic recovery plan. They already support thousands of world-leading tech jobs across the United Kingdom, helping to generate billions of pounds in revenue for the Treasury. With ambitious plans for further investment in the years to come to generate more quality and high-skilled jobs in regions outside London, we are contributing to the levelling up agenda.”
The Betting and Gaming Council represents approximately 90% of British gaming, sportsbetting, casino and bingo operators including behemoths such as William Hill, Entain and Flutter Entertainment. A former Parliamentarian for the Labour Party, Dugher pronounced that the nation’s collection of retail gambling venues ‘are getting back on their feet’ following many months of coronavirus-induced lockdown to carry on ‘making a major contribution to support our hard-pressed high streets as well as hospitality, leisure and tourism’.
Dugher furthermore asserted that the United Kingdom’s regulated sportsbetting and gaming industry provides domestic sports with a host of benefits including a combined $16.5 million for rugby league, darts and snooker organizations. The South Yorkshire-born advocate went on to note that his group’s members also recently handed over some $460 million to support horseracing while giving in the region of $53 million to the English Football League.
Nevertheless, Dugher advised the government that any provisions for the future regulation of the nation’s online gambling market must be ‘evidence led’ and not result in any risk to ‘the huge economic contribution’ made by the members of the Betting and Gaming Council. As an example and he highlighted the implementation of strict rules in nations such as Norway that have unintentionally led to a proliferation of ‘black market’ iGaming sites and placed punters at higher risk via the absence of the ‘safer gambling tools used by the regulated betting and gaming industry.’
The statement from Dugher read…
“It is vital the industry’s contribution to sports, local communities, jobs and tax revenues is not put at risk in the gambling ‘white paper’ and with well-meaning but naive changes to regulation. The growth of the unsafe and unregulated ‘black market’ in online gambling is part of a global trend and it’s foolish to think that there’s an enforcement solution to this. Anti-gambling campaigners may want to see a smaller regulated industry but that would be bad news for the economy and the Exchequer.”