BGC Insists Upon the Timely Delivery of Gambling White Paper Proposals

BGC Insists Upon the Timely Delivery of Gambling White Paper Proposals

In a statement issued this Wednesday, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) put an emphasis on how crucial it is for the Government to deliver its planned gambling reforms in the first half of 2024. The council focused specifically on how, despite the lack of clarity on exactly when the White Paper’s policies will officially come to pass, there are outside factors and changes that will definitely have a profound effect on the gambling industry in the upcoming months.

The first major change is that of the national living wage. Planned for this April, this reform will lead to an increase of 9.8% when it comes to the UK’s minimum wage. The BGC recognised the importance of this hike, but it also highlighted that casinos will find it more difficult to compensate for the resulting costs in comparison to other businesses. The Rank Group, for example, will have to deal with £10 million per year in costs as a result of this change. The Rank Group’s trading EBIT, on the other hand, was a reported £20.3 million for 2023 according to financial reports.

Another issue that casino industry players will have to account for is the Government’s statutory levy, which is set to be introduced in the Summer of 2024. This levy will result in gambling companies being obligated to pay 300% more than is currently required in order to back research into problem gambling, as well as programmes aimed at preventing and treating gambling harm.

The council also pointed towards the recently confirmed freeze on casino duty bands, which will be effective starting April 2024 and last until March 2025. This freeze will essentially force casinos to pay £5 million per year in what the BGC earlier referred to as a “stealth tax,” and this, too, will have a negative effect on gambling businesses based in the UK.

Casino Cannot Mitigate Costs Without the White Paper’s Measures

According to the BGC, unlike other commercial companies, gambling industry players will not be able to compensate for the looming expenses by increasing the costs of their services. Instead, gambling companies will need to rely on the proposals of the Government’s White Paper.

The first measures to aid businesses will have to do with gaming machines. Namely, electronic payment methods will be implemented and make it more convenient for clients to spend money at gambling establishments. In addition, sports betting will be something casinos will be permitted to tap into, which will also serve to assist them in improving revenue. The BGC stated that it is strictly through the legal implementation of these proposals that the UK gambling industry will be able to modernise.

During the annual GambleAware conference that took place in the beginning of December, CEO of the Gambling Commission, Andrew Rhodes, cautioned that the full implementation of the White Paper reforms will take years. In its Wednesday statement, however, the BGC claimed that the gambling industry “simply cannot withstand the cost increases” unless a clearer picture of when exactly the modernisation changes will be introduced is given.

Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.

Daniel Williams

Author: Jerry Lewis