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BGC welcomes new Levelling Up white paper setting out framework for boosting jobs and opportunity with £20m commitment on skills and training

Standards body the Betting and Gaming Council – which represents betting shops, casinos and the online gaming sector – today announces its support for the Government’s Levelling Up agenda by pledging to spend £20m on training and development for staff across the UK each year.

BGC members are also pledging to create a total of 5,000 apprenticeships for young people looking to work in the industry between now and 2025. The vast majority of which will be outside of London.

This commitment from the industry follows a report by EY which showed that BGC members support 119,000 jobs - directly employing 61,000 people and a further 58,000 in the supply chain. Nearly two thirds of those jobs are based outside of London with nearly 20,000 in the West Midlands alone.

Other high employment areas for the betting gaming industry include Yorkshire and Humber where over 10,000 people are employed and in the North West and North East a combined 16,000 people are employed.

Many of these jobs are in the high-tech sector and BGC members are proud to play their part in the world-leading tech growth across the UK.

BGC member Sky Bet recently opened a £15m technology and innovation hub in Leeds which is home to 1,700 staff from across the UK&I and international divisions. At bet365’s global headquarters in Stoke over 4,500 people are employed in the largest private sector employer in the area

The EY report also showed that BGC members generate £4.5billion for the Treasury in tax and contributed £7.7bn in gross value added to the UK economy in 2019.

Outside of London, the regions also benefit from the huge local tax contribution made by BGC members. In the North West our members contribute around £9m in business rates, £7m in Scotland and £3m in Wales. Betting shops also provide a much needed boost to the high street, a study by ESA Retail found that 89 per cent of betting shop customers combine their trip to the bookies with visits to other local businesses.

Some 11,600 people are also employed in Britain’s 120 casinos, which pay £600m in tax to the Treasury and contribute £1.2bn to the economy in gross value added. Casinos are a major economic contributor to UK plc, as well as an integral part of the hospitality industry.

Lord Walney, Engagement Director for the Levelling Up Goals at The Purpose Coalition has backed the BGC’s apprenticeship plan.

He said: “Apprenticeships will play a huge part in the levelling up process, allowing companies to provide high quality training for thousands of young people”.

Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the BGC, said the regulated industry was ready to go even further to help to support the UK economy.

He said: “The Government’s levelling up agenda is a fantastic opportunity to create more apprenticeships and tackle unemployment across the UK.

“Across the UK, from Stoke to Leeds, BGC members are investing in high tech jobs within their companies more than ever before. They stand ready to support the economic recovery after covid and provide the skills and opportunities that towns and cities need to thrive".

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