Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the BGC, has reiterated his concerns regarding possible overregulation of the UK’s gambling industry, and the dangers of black market operators.
Speaking to Andy Silvester of City AM’s The City View podcast, Dugher discussed the ongoing review of British gambling legislation by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and outlined the BGC’s opinions on the matter.
“We know that the government is looking at a review of our sector and our industry, and that is something that we called for and have welcomed, and we are not waiting for the government review,” the former Labour MP for Barnsley East and Shadow Cabinet minister began.
“Over the existence of the BGC in the last year or so we’ve driven a whole raft of new measures and big changes really to embrace that policy for gambling.
“Again it does show that in a regulated sector with a licence and control over tax, it is the safest place possible to have a bet.”
The prevalence of illegal black market operators in the UK’s gambling sector has become a focal issue of debate in recent months, with the BGC and other industry leaders repeatedly reiterating their concerns that over-regulation of the industry could push bettors towards illicit websites.
If people are forced to ‘go through hoops,’ the BGC CEO continued, they may be more likely to turn to underground operators, which are unregulated and do not pursue safer gambling objectives.
Additionally, Dugher highlighted the huge economic contribution made by the betting and gaming industry, including its role as ‘an important source of employment’ supporting 46,000 jobs in retail betting shops as well as ‘thousands more that also work in casinos’.
The Executive further outlined that 120,000 jobs are supported by BGC members, which generate around £4.5 billion in tax and add ‘something like £7.7 billion in gross value added to the economy’.
Finally, Dugher also referenced the significant financial support given to British sports at varying levels from the grassroots to the elite by the betting industry, including football, rugby league, horse racing and darts.
Source – City AM