The chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), Michael Dugher, has urged Britain's new Secretary of State for Culture, Media, and Sport, Lucy Frazer, to reject any suggestions for higher gaming taxes.
Frazer was named to the position as part of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's cabinet reshuffle earlier this week. Her department, the Department of Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS), is in charge of gaming, although digital is no longer included.
Michelle Donelan, the former cultural secretary, will lead the new Department of Science, Innovation, and Technology (DSIT).
Dugher welcomed Frazer to the position and urged her to secure the publishing of the much-anticipated gaming white paper "as soon as possible" to alleviate industry uncertainty.
Dugher also encouraged Frazer to reject proposals to levy more taxes on gambling companies, instead focusing on safeguarding the minority of customers who suffer from gambling-related harm.
“There are still issues to finalise, but the long-awaited package of welcome reforms should be published without delay,” Dugher said. “We hope the new secretary of state will listen to racing and to the millions of punters who are concerned about blanket, intrusive, low-level ‘affordability’ checks driving people to the unsafe unregulated black market online.
“We also hope that as a sector supporting jobs and investment in the UK, recovering from the pandemic and facing tough economic headwinds, she will reject calls for any new taxes on the industry.”
According to Dugher, it is critical that any regulatory reforms do not jeopardise the experience of those who gamble responsibly.
“We continue to call for big changes so that standards in safer gambling continue to improve, but these changes must be carefully targeted to protect the small minority who are at risk or vulnerable, and not interfere with the overwhelming majority who enjoy betting safely and responsibly,” Dugher said.
“We have already called for an ombudsman to improve consumer redress and have engaged extensively with previous ministers. It’s time now for the government to end the damaging uncertainty and get on with publishing the white paper as soon as possible.”
By fLEXI tEAM