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Betting shops, casinos and the online gaming sector support 119,000 jobs and generate £4.5bn in tax to the Treasury, a new report has revealed.

The latest study by EY, which was commissioned by the Betting and Gaming Council, also shows that their members contributed £7.7bn in gross value added to the UK economy in 2019.

It comes as the Government plans the biggest shake-up of betting laws in 15 years.

A call for evidence as part of the Gambling Review is due to close on March 31, with ministers expected to produce a White Paper on future regulation of the industry later in the year.

According to the EY report:

  • In 2019 the BGC’s members – made up of betting shops, casinos and online – directly employed 61,000 people, with a further 58,000 jobs generated by their supply chains.
  • Nearly one-fifth of those employed in the industry (19 per cent) are under 25 and more than half (51 per cent) are under 35 – far higher proportions than the wider economy, demonstrating how important they are in providing entry level jobs for young people.
  • 22,000 of the 61,000 direct jobs are based in the North of England and Scotland, and 15,000 in London. Leeds and Stoke are two examples of cities where the industry is vitally important (case studies below)
  • BGC members directly contributed £3.2bn in tax to the Exchequer in 2019, accounting for 0.4 per cent of all Treasury revenues. When taxes paid through the supply chain are added, this rises to £4.5bn
  • BGC members contributed £7.7bn to UK gross value added (GVA) in 2019, with a higher concentration of economic activity in the North, Scotland and London.
  • Horseracing benefits from the BGC members to the tune of £350m through sponsorship, media rights and betting levy payments.
  • BGC members contribute at least £40m a year to the English Football League and its clubs, more than £10m to darts and snooker and over £2.5m for rugby league.

The report was carried out as the UK economy continues to deal with the challenges posed by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The regulated betting and gaming industry is no exception, with the report showing that since the beginning of 2020, 374 betting shops and six casinos have closed, with an estimated loss of 5,000 jobs.

An estimated 30 million people in Britain enjoy a flutter, with the vast majority of them doing so perfectly safely. According to the Government, the rate of problem gambling is 0.5 per cent and has been stable for 20 years.

However, one problem gambler is one too many, which is why the BGC supports the Gambling Review and is determined to continue its work on raising standards and promoting safer gambling.

Michael Dugher, chief executive of the BGC, said: “At a time of economic fears and huge pressures on public finances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the huge contribution betting and gaming makes to UK plc could not be more important.

“This latest, authoritative report by EY sets out in black and white the vital role they play in helping to fund the public services upon which we all rely.

“As the standards body representing the regulated industry, the BGC fully supports the Government’s Gambling Review plus the need for continued higher safer gambling standards and more change to regulation.

“However, it is vital that the Government get those changes right and does nothing to put at risk the future jobs and tax take of a growing, world-leading British industry”.

Brigid Simmonds, chairman of the BGC, said: “From hospitality to high streets, the betting and gaming industry makes a huge contribution to the UK economy. Casinos in London alone contribute £120 million to the tourism sector, and look forward to being open once again.

“The contribution made to the Treasury by the betting and gaming sector, its support for sport and the jobs they offer to young people, so many of them highly skilled, are absolutely vital, especially in these uncertain times.”

Read the Economic Contribution Report >

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