As the review of the 2005 Gambling Act continues, with the government due to publish a white paper, a number of MPs have begun to show their support for the industry.
The latest parliamentary representative to do so was Craig Whittaker, the MP for Calder Valley in West Yorkshire, who recently featured in a Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) video release in one of his local William Hill betting shops.
“Being MP for the Calder Valley is a great honour and a privilege and particularly when you see the amount of diverse High Street retailers we have,” Whittaker explained. “I’m here today in William Hill’s in Todmorden, looking at the huge contribution they have to our local economy down here.
“Not only do they employ four full time staff here on a regular basis, but they also have a pool of others that are highly trained in doing things like GambleAware. The beauty of someone like William Hill is that they do prescribe to GambleAware and all the staff are trained in that.
“The reason that’s important is because it stops those that have a problem with gambling going further down the route into the black market. That’s why I support people like William Hill, and that’s why I support our high street.”
William Hill currently employs over 1,400 retail staff, with its retail divisions having recently been bought by 888 Holdings as part of a wider takeover of the company’s non-US assets, which were put up for sale by Caesars Entertainment.
Whittaker’s statement follows the comments made by Scott Benton, MP for Blackpool South, who also appeared at a local William Hill outlet in his Lancashire constituency.
Mirroring his fellow MPs comments, Benton underscored the financial contribution made to the British economy and sporting industry by the country’s betting and gaming sector, as well as its impact on employment.
“I’m delighted to be at William Hill here in Blackpool,” he remarked. “Betting shops employ thousands of people across the UK, and are a key driving force to get people out on their high streets, spending money in local shops and businesses as well.”