BGC Welcomes Shadow Ministers and Pledges to Continue Progress on Safer Gambling
Standards body the Betting and Gaming Council has congratulated Thangam Debbonaire MP on becoming the new Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, and pledged to continue progress on safer gambling.
On behalf of the 110,000 people whose jobs rely on the regulated betting and gaming industry, BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher welcomed her appointment, along with that of Stephanie Peacock MP, who becomes Shadow Minister for Sport, Gambling and Media.
Following the publication of the White Paper on gambling reforms in April, a once in a generation opportunity to improve standards, the BGC is working on eight consultations and 62 workstreams alongside our members which will drive up standards and mean big changes for punters and sport.
Chief among them is the current consultation on financial risk checks. The BGC supports enhanced spending checks for online betting, but have consistently called for checks to be genuinely ‘frictionless’ and carefully targeted to further protect the vulnerable.
In particular, the BGC has been working closely with the senior leadership in horse racing who share fears that intrusive financial checks could damage the sport by interfering with the vast majority who bet safely and responsibly.
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.
“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.”
Each month around 22.5 million adults in the UK have a bet, whether it’s buying a lottery ticket, playing a game of bingo, visiting a casino, gaming online or having a wager on football, horseracing and other popular sports.
Meanwhile, problem gambling rates in the UK are low by international standards, according to the independent regulator. The latest figures from the Gambling Commission show 0.3 per cent of the adult population are problem gamblers.
The Betting and Gaming Council was established in 2019 and represents over 90 per cent of the regulated industry including retail betting shops, online betting and gaming operators, casinos and bingo operators.
As the single industry body, we work with our members, large and small, to raise standards, create a culture of safer gaming and build public and institutional trust in our world class industry.