Article written in collaboration with NoDeposit.Guide
Betting in the UK is under new scrutiny yet again, as the country goes through another round of reforms in a seemingly endless cycle. While reforms we due to be enacted sooner, the impact of Covid-19 has made the process a lengthier one. The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), has pledged that its members will support the path to economic recovery that Covid has left in its wake, but warns against enforcing stricter regulations during this economic recovery process.
About the BGC
The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) is a standards body that works together with betting shops, casinos, online gaming houses, and bingo.
There have been several discussions about the introduction of stricter regulations. The BCG is an entity which represents most of the online casinos operating in the UK. Its role is to monitor regulations whilst ensuring people’s online gambling habits are not excessive.
The BGC’s economic investment into the UK
BGC members comprise around 120,000 jobs in the UK, and contribute over €9m to the economy - as well as over €5m in tax back to the UK’s government. Under the UK’s Plan for Job initiate, members will create 5000 apprenticeships in the industry, plus create new graduate pathways and opportunities for those less advantaged.
This is alongside various technology initiatives, startup and innovation hubs, and investment of capital into various sports and teams in the UK.
As the BGC details, the economic benefit to the UK by members under current gambling laws is significant. In times where economic recovery is paramount, this presents a supportive body that can assist.
Review of UK gambling laws imminent
Government proposals to adjust current gambling laws have been on the agenda for same time, with a review started in December 2020 by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport. The proposals are now expected to appear in May.
Throughout the course of the review, there have been hold ups in production of a whitepaper surrounding the review, a new gambling minister come on board at the DCMS, as well as a feeling of growing discontent of the public surrounding the UK’s leader, Boris Johnson. With all this happening, alongside Covid, it means that the outcomes of the review may now be in a state of flux.
Since the time-period of the review is misaligned with the government’s economic recovery plan, this is where the BGC is concerned that there will be out of sync recommendations.
The other side of the coin
While the BGC urges caution into interpreting the results of the review, there are also lobbyists for the other side, as reform campaigners, such as the Fairer Gambling campaign, highlight some of the effects of gambling addiction that impact people every day. The Fair Gambling campaign is an interesting one, headed by Derek Webb - a man who was heavily involved in both casinos and poker, but now on a path to sports betting machines reform across the UK.
Webb’s opponents - the betting shops and those representing them - have accused him of still having vested interested in the field, and thus campaigning for ulterior motives rather than the impact on those using the machines themselves. Webb still does have stakes in casinos, so this makes sense on the face of things.
Watch this space to stay up to date with the latest in UK gambling reforms. With some of the tightest regulations in the world, reforms in the UK often have trickle down effects into other jurisdictions in the years to come. These can ultimately effect EU members such as Poland.