BGC response to UK Government 1% gambling levy proposal

Updated:2024-03-20 10:10    Views:172

The British Government has announced a proposed new levy on online gambling companies in an effort to raise funds for research, prevention and treatment of gambling addiction – prompting a response from the Betting & Gaming Council (BGC).

This initiative is part of the Government's efforts to address the issue of problem gambling, especially with the increasing use of mobile betting apps and online platforms.

The voluntary levy, which currently exists, has faced criticism as some operators have contributed as little as £1 ($1.22) towards research, prevention and treatment.

To rectify this, the Government's Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is considering a new statutory levy. For online gambling operators, the proposed fee would be 1% of their gross gambling yield, while traditional betting shops and casinos would pay approximately 0.4%.

The Government's plans, including potential online stake limits ranging from £2 to £15, were initially outlined in April to update regulations and address the challenges posed by digital betting.

The funds generated by this new levy would provide additional financial support to the state-run National Health Service (NHS) in England, Scotland and Wales.

The proposal comes as the UK Government seeks to ensure that gambling firms contribute their fair share.

Stuart Andrew,Table games the Government's latest Gambling Minister, emphasised that the new statutory levy would legally require gambling companies to do just that.

And the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has gone on record stating they have supported the idea of a new mandatory levy, releasing the following statement:

“Indeed we proposed this to the Government ahead of the White Paper. Our industry has been the majority funder of RET for over 20 years. However, we believe it should apply to all operators including the National Lottery, without affecting good causes, who are not immune to having problem gamblers gamble with their products like scratch cards and instant win games.”

While this statutory levy is being discussed, the BGC has already introduced changes to advertising standards in an effort to reduce gambling-related harm, particularly among young people.

One significant alteration ensures that 20% of advertising across various media platforms is dedicated to promoting safer gambling. Additionally, the BGC will enforce a minimum age of 25 years for all digital platform advertisements, starting from December 1, 2023.

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