As the UK’s retail betting industry gets back on its feet, Scott Benton MP featured in a recent Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) video, promoting the reopening of shops.
Speaking at William Hill shop in Blackpool, where he represents the Blackpool South constituency for the Conservative Party, Benton spoke of the betting industry’s economic contribution to both the UK treasury and the country’s sporting infrastructure.
“I’m delighted to be at William Hill here in Blackpool. Betting shops employ thousands of people across the UK, and are key driving force to get people out on their high streets, spending money in local shops and businesses as well,” Benton remarked.
“They’ve been closed for much of the last 12 months because of COVID but they are now open and customers can safely go in and put backs on a whole range of different sports.
“This, of course, is giving millions of pounds back to the Treasury to help the UK spend money on vital public services, as well as supporting key sports, including horse racing, greyhounds and lower league football.”
The same arguments Benton presented have been repeatedly reiterated by the BGC over the past year, as the UK government moves ahead with its review of the 2005 Gambling Act, which could see a tightening of restrictions around the betting and gaming industry.
Earlier this year, the standards body highlighted findings from a report by Ernst & Young, which focused on the monetary contributions made by the betting industry to the British economy, employment and support for sports.
A total of £40 million was received by the English Football League (EFL) and its clubs from the sector, in addition to over £10 million to darts and snooker and more than £2.5 million for rugby league.
More significantly, the sport of horse racing benefits from over £350 million through sponsorship, media rights and betting levy payments.
Additionally, the BGC has consistently raised concerns about the potential negative implications over-regulation could have on bettors, pointing to the existence of illicit black market operators, and emphasising that the regulated sector represents a ‘safer bet’.