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BGC Backs Recovery Plan but Urges Caution on Reforms

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), a British gaming trade group, is offering its support to its government’s new economic recovery plan, but is also offering a word of caution about gaming reform. In a recently posted statement, Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, urged lawmakers to avoid “well-meaning but naive changes” that could impact the economic viability of gambling operators.

More specifically, Dugher is hoping to influence lawmakers who are reviewing Britain’s 2005 Gambling Act to keep from going too hard on the industry. British operators have been under pressure to limit advertising and enforce stricter self-exclusion rules since the pandemic began, but are in real danger of seeing those reforms happen in the very future.

As part of an effort to highlight the good that come from the gaming industry, and that it’s happening voluntarily. Dugher points specifically to 119,000 gaming jobs in England and the £4.5 billion ($5.95 billion USD) in tax and £7.7 billion ($10.1 billion USD) in gross value added that the industry generates for the country every year. Another initiative Dugher highlights as an example of the gaming industry’s contributions to the larger good is a pledge to create 5,000 internships for British youth.

But those contributions could be snuffed out, Dugher warns, by over regulating the industry. “Our members are ready, willing and able to assist in the Chancellor’s post-covid economic recovery plan. They already support thousands of world-leading tech jobs across the UK, helping to generate billions of pounds in revenue for the Treasury. And with ambitious plans for further investment in the years to come to generate more quality and high skilled jobs in regions outside London, we are contributing to the levelling up agenda.”

“But it is vital the industry’s contribution to sports, local communities, jobs and tax revenues, is not put at risk in the Gambling White paper and with well-meaning but naive changes to regulation,” he concluded.