BGC Give Support to Mini-Budget Plans

Friday September 23 has seen a mini-budget take place with tax cuts among the measures being announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng. His announcements have been welcomed by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC).

The mini-budget sees a change in government policy and not something we’d have seen when Boris Johnson was the Prime Minister. With suggestions that the UK is in recession already, it’s a worrying time for the regulated betting and gaming sector.

That provides 119,000 jobs and contributes £7.7 billion to the economy with £4.5 billion going to the Treasury. It’s anticipated that by 2027 a further 15,000 jobs will be created but it needs a strong economy to do so.

The CEO of the BGC is Michael Dugher and he says the regulated betting and gaming sector “backs the Government’s Growth plan – and is ready to play its part in its ambitious growth agenda.”

He added that the changes announced in the mini-budget, which include 1p off the income tax rate from next April represent “a bold plan to revive the economy.” Dugher stressed that for the betting and gaming sector to prosper, it is imperative that there is “the right regulatory framework for businesses to thrive.”

The CEO went on to explain how bookmakers are “supporting the UK’s hard-pressed High Streets” with casinos and bingo clubs providing a “key pillar to the hospitality, tourism and leisure sector.”

Another key area in which the sector is helping is the Government’s Levelling Up agenda. It supports over 8,500 jobs in Leeds and Stoke-on-Trent with over £630 million being contributed to their local economies.

While the CEO is happy with the mini-budget, he still wants to see the much-delayed White Paper on gambling reform published. Just when that will happen isn’t known and there have been rumours that it might not be published at all. The Tory Party manifesto for the 2019 General Election promised reform of the Gambling Act 2005 and began a review in 2020 but still no White Paper has been released.

Mr Dugher said that the BGC are “committing to continuing to raise standards on safer gambling and urge the Government to work with the industry to make progress on a gambling White Paper soon, so that our members have the regulatory clarity they need to invest in the future.”

Doing so will, he believes, help “a thriving sector reach new heights,” but ensure that player safety is improved.