UK Betting and Gaming Industry leads the way “Levelling Up” the West Midlands
Britain’s regulated betting and gaming industry is set to generate 1,500 tech jobs in the next five years across the West Midlands, as part of an ambitious Levelling Up agenda benefitting the whole region.
The West Midlands already hosts world leading operators including bet365 and Gamesys and is also a hub for a number of online gaming developers including Intouch Games Limited, delivering jobs, investment and prosperity. Large industry employers based in the West Midlands also include Genting, Inspired Gaming, Casino36, Broadway, Rainbow and Core Gaming.
Across the entire U.K. the online betting, gaming and bingo sector, already supports 119,000 jobs, and will generate a further 15,000 before 2027 based on current growth trends.
It comes as members of the Betting and Gaming Council, the standards body for the regulated betting and gaming industry, have been praised for their work supporting the Government’s Levelling Up agenda in a landmark report by the Purpose Coalition, published on Monday.
The Purpose Coalition is made up of the UK's most innovative purpose-led leaders and organisations and members include the BBC, Amazon, NHS Trusts, plus UK councils and universities amongst others.
Their report sets out how BGC members are at the forefront of entertainment and technology development and are determined to play their part helping Britain build back better from the Covid pandemic, with the majority of this incredible work taking place outside the capital in places like Stoke.
Nearly two thirds of posts are already based outside London with nearly 20,000 in the West Midlands alone, including Stoke where 4,500 people are employed.
Many of these high skilled roles will be in technology to deliver on the industry’s commitment to drive up higher standards in safer gaming, particularly online.
There are also 500 betting shops and 16 casinos in the West Midlands which together annually contribute £250m in tax and over £5m in business rates.
BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher joined Stoke-on-Trent Central MP Jo Gideon and bet365 co-CEO John Coates to mark the launch of the report at bet365 HQ in Stoke before also visiting a Genting Casino and a Coral betting shop.
Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council Michael Dugher said: “The BGC wants to build a world class industry that is better understood, respected and a fully engaged member of the communities in which we operate.
“We are proud to work with the Purpose Coalition and it is great to see how members across the West Midlands are providing high skilled, well-paid jobs across the retail, hospitality, and tech sectors.
“bet365 is a tremendous ambassador for the Government’s Levelling Up agenda, a world class business, and a committed member of the community where they are based, while delivering jobs and prosperity.”
Jo Gideon, MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central added: “I welcome the latest report from the Purpose Coalition which underlines how the betting and gaming industry is leading the levelling-up agenda across the UK.
“BGC members, such as bet365 in Stoke-on-Trent, are providing high skilled, good quality jobs that provide excellent long term career opportunities for families across the area. As we deal with the legacy of Covid-19 and challenges such as the cost of living, the importance of responsible organisations and the role they play has never been greater.”
A study in 2019 by EY found jobs in betting and gaming, across the major operators, casinos, bingo halls and bookmakers, accounted for four per cent of the total employment in Stoke.
The Purpose Coalition helps organisations and companies measure their Levelling Up work by setting goals and assessing their achievements against them. Their report, published on Monday, found the regulated betting and gaming sector exceeds in key areas, including creating high skilled jobs, providing a valuable economic footprint, and investment in the communities in which they operate.
Overall, the UK’s regulated betting and gaming sector generates £4.5bn in taxes for the Treasury, making a significant contribution to the national Levelling Up mission.
And BGC members are not only creating jobs, they are investing in workforces. The report highlights the pledge to create a total of 5,000 apprenticeships in the industry between now and 2025 and a further £20m on training and development programs. They are also empowering employees through diversity and inclusion initiatives, giving them the tools and confidence to develop in the workplace.
Lord Walney, Chair of the Purpose Business Coalition, said: “This analysis highlights the positive economic and social contribution made by members of the Betting and Gaming Council who are sustaining well paid high-tech jobs in several communities that are the focus of the government’s levelling up drive. The geographic spread of betting and gaming companies, their presence on most of our local high streets and the integral links the sector has with vital sporting events, give BGC members an important role to play in levelling up the UK.
“The Betting and Gaming Council is showing real leadership in supporting its members to increase this positive impact further at a crucial moment for the UK economy and the sector. I look forward to continuing to work with them as a valued member of the Purpose Coalition.”