The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has backed the recent government support, welcoming the confirmation that betting companies will now qualify for the same business rates holiday like other businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality industry.
Following the government’s instruction to close betting shops and casinos across the UK to limit the spread of COVID-19, the BGC has campaigned for inclusion in Rishi Sunak’s support package. According to the standards body, without the ability to generate revenue around 64,000 jobs were at risk.
Michael Dugher, BGC chief executive, said: “The Government is clearly working night and day to beat the virus and to ensure that jobs and businesses throughout our country are protected.
“On top of the help on employment, extending help on business rates to all businesses that have had to shut down is another much-needed shot in the arm that will help to protect tens of thousands of jobs.
“On behalf of those workers in our companies, I’d like to thank the Treasury and cross-party MPs for this and to pay tribute in particular to the DCMS, including our outstanding Minister Nigel Huddleston, for all their support.”
The cancellation and postponement of a number of sporting events across the UK, such as football and horse racing, has resulted in a ‘substantial drop in total gambling’.
Despite the fall in gambling participation, the BGC has emphasised that this has not stopped the standards body from ‘stepping up safer gambling measures’.
Dugher concluded: “Our industry will in turn do its absolute utmost to help with the fight against the virus and play our part in this historic national effort, including offering up staff and premises to help.
“And although gambling has fallen markedly with betting shops and casinos closing, and with the lack of sport which accounts for a big chunk of online betting too, we are also stepping up our safer gambling measures at this time”.