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Report: Gambling A Big Contributor To UK Economy

A report that was ordered by the Association of British Bookmaker to investigate the economic impact of wagering in the UK shows that the past time in fact does contribute heavily to the country's bottom line.

The report was compiled by Deloitte and shows just how many jobs and capital is produced toward the UK's GDP.

Key points of the report were:

  • The British Betting Industry is a key contributor to the UK economy, directly supporting 38,800 jobs in 2011, and in doing so, generating £2.3 billion towards GDP;

    • The sector has shrunk since 2008, when last reviewed, but the retail component contributes an equivalent level of taxation to the exchequer as it did then;

    • The effects of the recession and a move to offshore betting may have been significantly worse for Licensed Betting Offices (LBOs) had electronic gaming machines not increased in popularity in recent years;

    • The industry has a far reaching impact on the rest of the UK economy, with a total economic footprint of £5 billion in terms of Gross Value Added (GVA);

    • The industry as a whole faces a number of challenges from macroeconomic and regulatory factors, such as the proposed ‘point of consumption’ tax;

    • There is little doubt that the industry will continue to contribute economically and socially.

Speaking about the report, Deloitte's Betting and Gaming Head Simon Oaten said: “The betting industry continues to make a significant contribution to the UK economy. Changing technology, such as mobile, smartphone and contactless payments, and regulation, including point of consumption and machines, will have a direct impact on the future contribution of the sector. Each will have the potential to drive significant change in the next 24 months.”

The Association of British Bookmakers Chairman Neil Goulden also spoke out, saying: “Betting shops serve over eight million customers a year, and while we see major retailers closing down and shedding jobs almost weekly, betting shops continue to invest in the UK ’s high streets. We are a highly regulated and socially responsible sector, which can provide economic growth, jobs and retail footfall given a fair and balanced tax and regulatory framework."

“However, the Licensed Betting Office sector is under huge financial pressure, driven by 9% retail inflation, and growing tax burden. We are a ‘soft target’ for HM Treasury - the new Machine Games Duty (MGD), for example, introduced in February at 20%, will cost the sector £60 million (£7000 per shop)."

“2,700 LBOs make less than £300 per week (£15,000 p.a.). These shops employ 11,000 people and their profits fell by fell by 15% in 2011. MGD risks making these shops unprofitable overnight.”

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