Michael Dugher calls on Chancellor to introduce ‘critical’ job-supporting budget
Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), has called on Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak to introduce a ‘Budget for Jobs’ to the House of Commons on Wednesday.
In a statement this morning, Dugher reiterated his long-held argument that the regulated betting and gaming industry is ‘ready, willing and able’ to assist the UK Treasury in promoting economic recovery from the pandemic, ahead of the Chancellor’s budget announcement later this week.
Describing the need for the government to provide economic support to the hospitality sector and high-street retailers – two sectors which have been hard hit by the financial impacts of the COVID-19 virus – Dugher also underscored the importance of ‘promoting continued growth in Britain’s world leading tech companies’, including online gambling operations.
The BGC’s budget calls build on the betting industry trade association’s plans to invest in training opportunities for young people last month, pledging to launch 5,000 apprenticeship schemes in the betting and gaming sector up until 2025 in support of the UK government’s Plan for Jobs.
“Our members are ready, willing and able to assist in the post-pandemic economic recovery,” the Chief Executive remarked. “They already support tens of thousands of jobs across the UK, helping to generate billions of pounds in revenue for the Treasury, and with ambitious plans for further expansion in the years to come.
“I therefore hope that the Chancellor delivers a Budget for jobs which will help to repair the damage done by COVID, sustain the economic recovery and – with the full support of the regulated betting and gaming industry – help Britain to build back better.”
Dugher also took the opportunity to reiterate the betting sector’s role in the British economy, highlighting the £7.7 billion contribution in gross value added, £4.5 billion in taxation and support for 119,000 jobs provided by the industry.
The organisation’s members’ support for sports has also been repeatedly highlighted over the past year, and the BGC again took the opportunity to focus on this, following on from the announcement that sponsorship agreements between sports clubs and betting companies are likely to be banned as a result of the review of the 2005 Gambling Act.
Currently, BGC member operators generate £350 million to horse racing through the betting levy, media rights agreements and sponsorship deals, whilst contributing £40 million to the clubs of the English Football League (EFL) and finances for rugby league, darts and snooker.