How Are Gambling Companies Impacted by 2021 Budget Checks?
Written by Julie
Published date · March 17, 2021 |
Last Updated · Dec. 14, 2022 | Read Time: 3 mins
Gambling across the world has been growing more and more in popularity as the industry continues to build. It is hard to pinpoint exactly one reason for this but a lot of it is revolving around the gambling which occurs online. The wider access to the internet has mirrored this. You can access 4G (and even 5G) all over the UK so the possibility to access online gambling has increased. As well as playing on the go, the ever improving broadband speeds mean that you can play at home very easily too. The demand for sports betting and online gambling services is greater than ever before. The UK has the most liberal online market yet it also remains one of the most well-regulated too. Online casinos must pass checks from the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) in order to gain a licence and operate legally.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had some devastating consequences for workers in the gambling industry. Since March 2020 it is estimated that over 700,000 people have become unemployed which has led to taxes being upped to help support this. Over £280 billion has been raised in support funds to try to reduce the number of people losing their jobs. Chancellor Rishi Sunak has addressed this in parliament when talking about 2021 budget checks. If you are a casino player and you are unsure where your favourite casino stands, it may be worth contacting a customer service team so you can get a clearer idea of the casino’s plans going forward.
What Does This Mean For Gambling Companies?
The UK’s Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) have announced that all UK casinos and betting shops could reopen once the lockdown restrictions are eased. This announcement came back in February and it provided some much needed security to the 44,000 people who are employed in this sector. Of course no one wants to lose their job for measures that are beyond their control so this announcement has helped people look forward to the possibility of returning to work. BGC has estimated that around 5,000 gambling workers lost their jobs because 375 businesses have been unable to keep them on.
Going forward this has resulted in the BCG trying to scrap curfews so the gambling related businesses stay open longer. The aim is that they will be able to match the opening hours of hospitality businesses and get rid of curfews. The BCG is pleading for support from the government in a five-point recovery plan to aid the sector. The new budget plans proposed from Sunak contains £5 billion to help high-street businesses get back on their feet. Within this plan there are grants for retail stores that are anywhere up to £6,000. These shops are perhaps seen as more urgent than betting shops which come into the next category of venues that open at later dates. These are having support financially of up to £18,000 and without this, many businesses may have not been able to survive.
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) have decided to review some of the existing details to see what needs addressing. The 2005 Gambling Act has generally helped lead to safer gambling but there is always room to help keep it up to date and improved. Gambling Block Services are one feature of this act that’s currently being addressed. In order to maintain safe gambling, the UKGC believes that everyone should have the option to limit their gambling transactions through their own bank. Many banks currently do have this option. Being able to limit the transactions from someone’s account should help to stop people from losing control when they gamble.
Even though the budget announcements have brought good news to the gambling industry, it is important to not get too far ahead of ourselves. Back in January of 2021 there were reports that the government borrowed over £300 billion from March to December in 2020. This is a substantial amount of money yet it is very possible that the figures for 2021 could eclipse this. Chancellor Sunak has spent funds that leave many sceptical about an increase in corporate tax as a temporary measure. The UK’s total debt is at £2 trillion so an increase of tax looks like a probability rather than a possibility at this stage.