BGC Welcomes Labour's Responsible Gambling Pledge Ahead of UK Election

BGC Welcomes Labour's Responsible Gambling Pledge Ahead of UK Election

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has expressed its support for the Labour Party’s manifesto pledge to collaborate with the gambling industry on promoting responsible gambling. Labour unveiled its manifesto on Thursday, outlining its plans if Keir Starmer is elected as the new UK Prime Minister.

Labour's Commitment to Responsible Gambling

Labour's manifesto emphasizes the party's commitment to reducing gambling-related harm and working with the industry to enhance standards in responsible betting and gaming. This approach aligns with the reforms set out in the UK White Paper, which both the BGC and Labour have supported.

At the BGC’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in February, Shadow Minister for Sport, Gambling and Media Stephanie Peacock underscored the importance of the White Paper reforms, stating that they would be pursued regardless of the election outcome.

BGC's Response

Michael Dugher, BGC CEO and Acting Chair welcomed Labour’s manifesto commitment: “On behalf of our members, the 110,000 people whose jobs rely on the regulated betting and gaming industry, and the 22.5 million people who enjoy a bet each month, we welcome Labour’s general election manifesto and its commitment to continue working with the industry to drive up standards further.

“BGC members are currently undergoing the biggest regulatory changes in a generation following the publication of the White Paper, which Labour supported, and much of this work will be ongoing after the general election. This is also backed up by the industry’s own significant efforts to continue to drive world-class standards and protections for the vulnerable, which has transformed the sector in recent years and stands in marked contrast to the dangers posed by the unsafe, unregulated black market online.

“BGC has long treated Labour as not merely the official opposition in parliament, but as a government in waiting. We have worked closely with shadow ministers in recent years and we strongly welcome their commitment in the manifesto to work with the regulated industry. Whatever happens at the polls, our work to drive up standards carries on and we look forward to partnering with the next government in this vitally important work.”

Current Developments and Concerns

In related news, current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s parliamentary private secretary, Craig Williams, is reportedly under investigation by the Gambling Commission. He allegedly placed a £100 ($127.87) bet on the date of a July election just three days before the official announcement.

As the UK approaches the general election, the BGC remains focused on ensuring that the gambling industry continues to improve its standards and protections, regardless of the political outcome. The commitment to responsible gambling and collaboration with governmental bodies is seen as essential for maintaining the integrity and safety of the sector.

Source: "BGC welcomes Labour's manifesto pledge on responsible gambling ahead of UK General Election", Gambling Insider, June 13, 2024. 

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