October 23, 2023
The BGC (Betting and Gambling Council) has endorsed the United Kingdom government's planned 1% gaming fee. The body has also asked the Government to include the National Lottery within this framework.
The British Government has recently unveiled a proposed fee on online gambling companies to generate revenue to conduct research, implement strategies, and provide treatment for gambling addiction. This announcement has elicited the Betting & Gaming Council (BGC) response.
This campaign is a component of the Government's measures to tackle the problem of gambling addiction, particularly in light of the increasing use of gambling sites and apps.
The currently implemented voluntary charge has been criticized due to instances when certain operators have made minimal contributions, as low as £1 ($1.22), towards research, prevention, and treatment efforts.
To address this issue, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) of the Government is considering the implementation of a 1% mandatory fee. The suggested fee for providers of online gambling games would amount to 1% of their total gambling revenue. In contrast, traditional sports betting shops and casinos would be subject to a fee of around 0.4%.
The Government's proposed measures, encompassing a range of potential stake limits on casino sites, ranging from £2 to £15, were initially presented in April to modernize legislation and tackle the complexities associated with digital gambling.
Implementing this newly proposed charge will generate funds that might be allocated to offer supplementary financial assistance to the state-operated National Health Service (NHS) in England, Scotland, and Wales. According to the United Kingdom government, the proposal will ensure gaming companies contribute appropriately.
Stuart Andrew, the recently appointed Gambling Minister of the Government, emphasized the significance of the newly proposed statutory charge, which would impose a statutory duty on gambling companies to fulfil the specified requirements.
Meanwhile, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has publicly endorsed implementing a new obligatory levy. In a formal statement, the BGC said:
"Indeed, we proposed this to the Government ahead of the White Paper. Our industry has been the majority funder of RET for over 20 years. However, we believe it should apply to all operators, including the National Lottery, without affecting good causes, who are not immune to having problem gamblers gamble with their products like scratch cards and instant win games."
While the ongoing deliberation on the statutory fee is underway, the BGC has already implemented modifications to advertising regulations to mitigate the negative impact of gambling, specifically targeting the younger demographic. A notable change involves allocating 20% of advertising space across diverse media platforms to promote safer gaming. Furthermore, the BGC will implement a policy mandating a minimum age requirement of 25 years for all digital platform advertisements, effective December 1, 2023.