Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), Michael Dugher has called on the Welsh Government to protect jobs in the gambling industry and extend the business rate relief to include betting shops, bingo halls, and casinos to help them cope with consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UK Government decided to assist the gambling industry with 100% business rate relief in March. However, the Welsh Government considers that the relief does not apply to betting shops. There are more than 300 betting shops, plus 4 casinos, in Wales, and BGC claims how they are all facing financial ruin if the Welsh do not lend a helping hand.
“Without assistance with business rates relief, similar to that offered to other sectors in Wales, including other parts of the hospitality, leisure and entertainment industries, there is a real danger that betting shops and casinos will permanently close leading to the direct loss of over 2000 jobs in Wales,” Michael Dugher warned the Welsh Finance Minister, Rebecca Evans.
He further added: “These 2,000 jobs are hardworking men and women with bills to pay and families to care for. Their jobs are worth every bit as much as someone doing the same job in England.”