The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has stated that the UK’s gambling sector is ready to welcome international visitors through its doors after two years of travel and opening restrictions.
With travel restrictions to the UK easing as the country emerges from COVID-19 lockdown and safety conditions, the BGC has reiterated the financial contribution the gaming industry makes via international tourism.
London in particular is home to casinos such as the Hippodrome – which reopened its doors last year along with other UK gambling venues – that are hugely popular with international gamblers visiting the capital.
BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher noted that, as a member of the Tourism Board, he is “well aware” that the conditions of the past two years have been extremely difficult on the people and companies that are reliant on tourism.
He remarked: “This year’s theme for English Tourism Week is ‘You’re Welcome’. It aims to send a message to everyone that working in tourism is ready and willing to welcome visits back and are working hard to do so.
“BGC members stand ready to supercharge this recovery and I hope by English Tourism Week 2023 we are in a much better position and welcoming many overseas visitors to the British Isles.”
Under the government’s plans with regards to travel restrictions, the requirement for COVID-19 tests prior to travel or after arrival and for a passenger locator form to be completed have been removed as of 18 March.
Dugher argues that this will both kickstart the tourism industry and provide a “huge boost” for London casinos to “play their part in the recovery from COVID”.
The BGC Chief has continuously reiterated the fiscal contributions made by the UK’s betting and gaming industry to the country’s economy, ahead of the White Paper on the 2005 Gambling Act review.
Addressing the topic of Tourism Week, Dugher detailed that casinos in London – the UK’s tourism centre – contribute £150 million in tax and £188 million to the capital city’s GDP.
With regards to tourism, the sector attracts and supports “significant international tourism spending” of at least £120 million of Gross Value Added to London’s economy, he asserted.
Dugher added: “Whilst some members of a family or friends visit the casino, others shop, visit London’s tourist attractions, but above all make a major contribution to tourism in the UK.”