The report examined the industry’s contribution to “levelling up” of the British economy outside of London, and highlighted “the unsung but often profound role the sector plays in levelling up”.
While the gaming sector already directly employs 10,000 high skilled jobs as well as supporting another 30,000 posts, based on current industry trends, the report predicted that future growth will be primarily concentrated outside London.
Just over two thirds of existing jobs already are outside of London with 20,000 jobs based in the West Midlands alone. In particular, the report cites Leeds (home of Sky Bet) and Stoke-on-Trent (home of Bet365) as “examples of specific communities which have benefited significantly from the presence of BGC members.”
In total, regulated betting and gaming in the UK supports 119,000 jobs as well as generating £4.5bn in revenue for the public purse.
BGC chief executive Michael Dugher said that the industry was “now on track to deliver another 15,000 high paid, high skilled jobs”.
Dugher added that the only risks to that growth would be “poorly conceived regulation that hamper business and threaten jobs”, alluding to the Gambling Act Review, which could lead to a number of major changes for the country’s gambling industry.
The BGC also argued that the economic and social issues must be balanced against each other.
Meanwhile Jo Gideon, MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central, argued that in the context of social and economic challenges such as the cost of living crisis and the legacy of Covid-19 “the importance of responsible organisations and the role they play has never been greater”.
Additionally, the report also highlighted the pledge to create 5,000 apprenticeships in the industry between now and 2025 as well as to spend £20m on training and development programmes.
Lord Walney, chair of the Purpose Coalition, elaborated on how the regional nature of the industry helped develop levelling up goals, saying that “the geographic spread of betting and gaming companies, their presence on most of our local high streets and the integral links the sector has with vital sporting events, give BGC members an important role to play in levelling up the UK”.
“The sector now faces a fresh challenge of persuading the government to modernise its regulatory framework in a way that allows its positive economic impact to continue despite tighter restrictions to protect vulnerable consumers.”