BGC urges UK Chancellor to tackle unregulated market

By Iqbal Johal

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has called on the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer to help the retail betting sector and tackle the unregulated gambling market, by reforming business and taxation rates.

The BGC has made recommendations ahead of Rishi Sunak delivering his first budget as Chancellor on Wednesday 11 March, urging him to take action against the online black market, worth an estimated £1.4bn ($1.82bn).

The BGC’s submission calls for a reform of business rates, including changing the rules to allow more small businesses to take advantage of the small business retail relief, and changing casino tax rates.

Cutting fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) to £2 last April has led to a decline in high street activity, argues the BGC, while online gaming duty has increased from 15% to 21% of Gross Gaming Yield (GGY).

BGC CEO, Michael Dugher, said: "We urge the Chancellor to take bold steps to help the high street with reform to business rates and casino taxation.

"Bookies and casinos help attract people to our town centres but once they’re gone there are few if any retailers to step in to take their place."

The industry association, which represents operators and casinos, added the black market is a threat to licensed operators and has led to a loss in tax revenue for the Exchequer.

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