BGC welcome Government Gambling White Paper
Responding to the publication of the Gambling White Paper, Michael Dugher, CEO of the Betting and Gaming Council said: “On behalf of our many members, the 110,000 people whose jobs rely on the regulated betting and gaming industry, and the 22.5 million people who enjoy a bet each month, we welcome the much-delayed publication of the Gambling White Paper.
“We need time to consider the full detail and impacts of these proposals, but it is important to recognise the BGC has worked closely with Government to deliver a wide-ranging package of balanced, proportionate and effective reforms.
“Our members generate £7.1 billion for the economy and raise £4.2 billion in tax every year, and the measures announced today should protect jobs and sustain that vital contribution, while also building on our own work to drive world-leading standards in safer gambling.
“BGC members will now work with Government and the Gambling Commission to deliver targeted and genuinely ‘frictionless’ enhanced spending checks to further protect the vulnerable, a new Ombudsman to improve consumer redress, and overdue plans to modernise the regulation of UK casinos - all issues we at the BGC have championed. We welcome the consultation on new stake limits for online slots and in particular the steps taken to protect young people.
“Our biggest members committed £110m between 2019 and 2024 to fund Research, Education and Treatment services to tackle gambling related harm. We have previously called for these enhanced contributions to be made mandatory, and we welcome measures to make that happen.
“We welcome the decision to reject proposals from anti-gambling prohibitionists for blanket, low level and intrusive affordability checks, as well as their calls for bans on advertising, sports sponsorship and consumer promotions, which would harm our best-loved sports like horseracing and football, threaten jobs and drive customers to the growing unsafe, unregulated gambling black market online.
“These proposed measures will mean significant change but hopefully much needed regulatory stability to ensure our members can focus entirely on delivering for customers.
“Government will now consult on this wide-ranging package of reforms and all our focus will be on delivering these changes as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, we will continue concentrating our efforts on finding the right balance between protecting the vulnerable and young people and using technology to target the 0.2 per cent of adults who are problem gamblers, whilst not unduly impacting the enjoyment of the overwhelming majority of people who bet perfectly safely and responsibly.
“This White Paper is a once in a generation moment for change and its publication must draw a line under the lengthy and often polarised debates on gambling. Betting and gaming is popular, contrary to misconceptions, the numbers of people betting are stable and not increasing, problem gambling rates are stable and low, and our members are a genuine British business success story, ploughing billions into the economy. The focus should now be on continuing to drive higher standards, whilst investing in jobs and businesses in the UK’s world leading regulated industry.”