BGC welcomes Debbonaire and Peacock Shadow Cabinet appointments
Thangam Debbonaire MP

BGC welcomes Debbonaire and Peacock Shadow Cabinet appointments

Thangam Debbonaire MP’s appointment as the new Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has been received well by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC).

Should the Labour Party win the May 2024 UK general election and if Debbonaire still fills the position the MP for Bristol West, she would hold ministerial oversight of decisions relating to the gambling industry. SBC News BGC welcomes Debbonaire and Peacock Shadow Cabinet appointments

Also appointed to a Shadow Cabinet position this week in Labour leader Keir Starmer’s latest reshuffle was Stephanie Peacock MP, who represents Barnsley East. 

Peacock has been named Shadow Minister for Sport, Gambling and Media, and has likewise been welcomed by the UK’s betting and gaming trade association and standards body.

BGC CEO, Michael Dugher, said: “We would like to warmly welcome Thangam and Steph on their new appointments at this crucial time for our sector. As well as supporting tens of thousands of jobs, our members contribute £7.1bn to the economy and raise £4.2bn in taxes to fund vital public services every year.

“Our members play a vital role supporting hard-pressed high streets through betting shops, as well as the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors through casinos and bingo, while our world-leading British tech companies are employing thousands of people in high skilled jobs in online betting and gaming, demonstrating that these UK operators are true global leaders.”

The new Shadow Ministers have a mixed voting record on business issues – for example, Debbonaire has voted for and against reducing corporation tax, whilst Peacock has consistently voted to reduce it.

Meanwhile, the Westminster Accounts show that Debbonaire has received no donations or gifts from betting stakeholders or reform advocates. On the other hand, Peacock has received £500 in gifts from the BGC at some point since 2019, most likely in the form of hospitality such as tickets to sporting events.

The BGC noted that the publication of the Gambling Act review White Paper in April represented a “once in a generation opportunity to improve standards” in the British betting and gaming sector.

There are currently a range of consultations underway involving the DCMS – which the two Shadow Ministers would oversee if Labour wins the next election – and the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).

The BGC itself is involved in eight consultations and 62 workstreams. Appearing before the cross-party DCMS Select Committee earlier this week, UKGC leadership emphasised that the regulator has been ‘quick out of the box’ with getting consultations up and running.

Dugher continued: “We want to play our part in supporting the economy and the public finances, as well as ensuring that our industry can continue to support many of the nations’ favourite sports including football, horse racing, rugby, cricket, darts, boxing and snooker.

“Improving standards on safer gambling is the bedrock of that work and our members are now working hard to deliver on the proposals set out in the White Paper, many of which of which the BGC campaigned for. Recently, we announced that the existing commitment that 20 per cent of TV and radio advertising be devoted to safer gambling messaging, would also be extended to online advertising too.

“And we have called on social media giants to work with the BGC on new measures to limit the marketing seen by young people and problem gamblers.

“We look for forward to working with Thangam and Stephanie to continue to raise standards, promote safer gambling, and ensure the voice of punters and those who work in industry concerns are heard.”

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