New Standards body, the Betting and Gaming Council, has warned that the new immigration points based system could have a negative impact on casinos, tourism and the night-time economy including the ability for UK casinos to hire skilled croupiers.
Under the new system due to be introduced on 1 January 2021, croupiers will not qualify as having the specific skills, qualifications, salaries or professions. Currently up to 70% of croupiers in the UK are from overseas.
Casinos remain a hugely important part of Britain’s leisure economy, attracting tourists to the UK and providing an unrivalled social experience for millions of people each year. A vibrant, modern and world-renowned casino sector is a driver for high-value tourism from China, the Middle East and elsewhere.
The Federation of Small Businesses has warned that the proposed measures will hit hospitality and tourism businesses hard.
Casinos employ over 14,000 people, indirectly support another 4,000 jobs across the UK and contribute over £300 million in tax revenue every year.
BGC Chief Executive, Michael Dugher, said:
“Casinos are a hugely important part of our country’s leisure industry attracting thousands of wealthy tourists to the UK from around the world. In order to remain competitive our casinos need the best croupiers with great arithmetic agility.
“While we are determined to grow the number of UK croupiers through the NVQ in Gaming Operations available at many colleges and through the world class Nottingham Casino Academy, we need the ability to employ the best from around the world.
“Using arbitrary skills or salary requirements will damage highly successful parts of the UK economy”
“The government has announced exemptions for certain workers and skills and we urge the Government to work with the casino and wider hospitality industry to ensure that we can continue to thrive.”
While the greatest concentration of casinos is in London, the rest the country still greatly benefits from the sector – for example casinos provide £145m of Gross Value Added (GVA) to the North of England.
In total, the UK casino sector was directly responsible for £463million of GVA and £757m when you include indirect and induced GVA.