by Laurence Robertson MP
I am pleased to be working with the Betting and Gaming Council at such a crucial time for the industry. Two key challenges face the sector: the response of the Government to the coronavirus outbreak and the impending launch of the Gambling Review.
Wrong decisions taken in response to Covid or in the Review would not only put the livelihoods of those directly employed in the gambling industry at risk, but also those employed in the sports which betting helps to finance.
In the 10 years that I have been Joint Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Racing and Bloodstock, I have become acutely aware of the relationship between the betting and racing industries. I am pleased that these interests have come together through my election as Joint Chairman of the APPG on Betting and Gaming.
Parliamentarians from across the House take an interest in the betting and gaming sector, with a breadth of opinion on the industry. However, too often it is the negative and inaccurate messages which are those heard most loudly. At a time when the industry is taking steps to tackle problem gambling, these criticisms are not only wrong, but put the jobs of many thousands of people, the taxes paid into the Exchequer, the future of sport and the enjoyment of millions at risk.
More needs to be done to create a nuanced view within Parliament, based on the evidence and the good progress the industry has already made in driving up standards. This is what our APPG will be focusing on.
Laurence Robertson is the Conservative MP for Tewkesbury and joint chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Betting and Gaming.