BGC Wants A Guarantee of UK Gaming Sector Reopening
The Betting and Gaming Council have joined an effort to see guarantees provided for the gambling industry to reopen in the UK.
In the UK, betting shops and casinos have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. For almost a year now, the gambling industry has faced multiple shutdowns due to the virus continuing to be a threat. Because of the many shutdowns, people have been out of work and operators have been unable to contribute financially to the region, which is affecting millions of people. The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has now joined a full effort to see the HM Treasury extend relief to businesses and help get the gaming industry back to work.
Announcements This Week
Chancellor Rishi Sunak will be completing his spring statement this Wednesday. In the statement, he is expected to announce 2021 budget proposals. Fiscal measures will be outlined along with policies to help the economy of the UK recovery after yet another winter lockdown.
The BGC recently sent a letter to the Chancellor before his expected speech, with details as to what they expect for the gambling industry. Chief executive of the BGC, Michael Dugher, published the letter so the public could see what they are asking for.
The letter includes a five-point plan that supports the sector, which is ready to get back to work and help with recovery. The BGC wants to see the Treasury providing more rate reliefs to the retail, leisure, and hospitality businesses in the UK. Businesses need help after being shut down for the majority of the past year.
According to Dugher, the extension would help to remove financial pressure on the companies that were most affected due to the pandemic.
Continue the Timetable
The government has been urged by stakeholders as well as supporters that the timetable that has been set for the industry needs to continue. Betting shops are supposed to reopen by April 12 as well as other non-essential retail shops.
In its letter, the BGC pointed out that the gambling sector needs to have a period of stability and certainty. There does not need to be an increase in industry taxes. In general, the industry provides more than 100,000 jobs and contributes around £4.5 billion in taxes. It also provides around £7.7 billion to the economy.
The statement was ended in the letter by requesting the HM Treasury pays close attention to the gambling review developments. Dugher points out that restrictive measures have wider consequences on the finances of sports and racing if they are adopted.
Overall, Dugher stressed that the betting and gaming industry is a contributor to the economy of the UK and an important part of the recovery process. The BGC is hopeful that the upcoming budget will be the first step for the recovery process after COVID-19 and allow the high street businesses to see growth once again as well as create jobs.
Since March of 2020, the gambling industry in the UK has shut down betting shops and casinos several times. As positive case counts involving the virus increase, the country closes up shop in the hopes of avoiding new cases. While the idea is to slow the spread, it is affecting businesses in a negative manner.
For months, supporters as well as shareholders have pointed out that the gambling industry is prepared to operate in a safe manner. Protocols are in place to ensure that players and employees of such venues remain safe and virus free.
It will be interesting to see if the plan by the BGC is considered by lawmakers and implemented within the budget plans for 2021. Only time will tell if the gaming industry will be a part of the recovery process or left behind.