BGC Fights Back Against Proposed Gambling Tax Plans

BGC fights back

In a bold move, the BGC (Betting and Gaming Council) has once again stepped into the ring to oppose the UK government’s economic plans. This time, their target is a proposed gambling tax simplification measure, raising concerns about its potential impact on the casino industry, customer experience, and sponsorship opportunities. 

As a staunch advocate for the betting and gaming sector, the BGC urges the Chancellor to reconsider this move, citing potential consequences for operators and the broader economy. 

⬇️ The Proposed Gambling Tax

The BGC has previously criticised what they call a ‘stealth tax’ on casinos, emphasising the failure to adjust sector bands alongside inflation. The UK government’s Autumn Statement revealed plans to consult on new proposals to consolidate remote betting into a single tax, replacing the existing three-tax structure. 

A BGC update expressed concerns: 

“The tax threat comes as revenues are already being stretched by so-called affordability checks on customers, plans to replace the current voluntary levy with a new statutory levy to fund Research, Education and Treatment to tackle gambling-related harm and spiralling costs for betting operators to support horse racing.”

Currently, general betting and pool betting duty stand at 15%, while remote gaming duty, applicable to online casinos, is set at 21%. The BGC warns of the widespread impact an increase in this tax could have, potentially limiting customer experience and reducing the industry’s sponsorship opportunities in sports.

⬇️ A Double Blow for Horse Racing

The proposed tax simplification plan follows closely on the heels of the Government’s White Paper, published in April, which outlined measures that could cost online operators over £895 million in Gross Gambling Yield. Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the BGC, voiced his apprehension:

“Any further new tax rises could be a hammer blow for horse racing’s finances, which are already threatened thanks to measures proposed by the Government in the recent white paper.”

Dugher states that horse racing relies heavily on betting operators to succeed. He believes the government appears determined to formulate actions to “shrink” the industry, which will significantly impact other sectors, like horse racing.     

⬇️ Lack of Consultation Raises Concerns

Expressing dismay, Dugher pointed out the lack of consultation or information-sharing with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS), the department responsible for betting and racing. 

He critiqued the government, stating: 

“It seems they are high on tax but low on joined-up government. There are genuine fears that any so-called simplification of the current tax structure will be nothing more than a Trojan Horse to further raise taxes on businesses.”

The BGC, representing the interests of the betting and horse racing industries, is alarmed at the potential consequences of the proposed tax changes. Dugher expressed concerns about the impact on jobs, investments, and the overall competitiveness of British horse racing on the global stage. He warned that this sport’s rich history and heritage could be in peril if the proposed measures proceed.

⬇️ BGC Growing List of Worries

In conclusion, the BGC’s opposition to the proposed gambling tax plans underscores the industry’s apprehensions about the government’s economic strategies. Michael Dugher’s statement, “We were promised an Autumn Statement that would deliver growth – the only thing growing is the list of worries for the betting and horse racing industries,” paints a vivid picture of the challenges the sector faces in the wake of these potential tax changes.


🧐 Why is the Betting and Gaming Council opposing the proposed gambling tax plans?

The BGC is concerned about the potential impact on the industry, including limitations on customer experience and reduced sponsorship opportunities.

💰 What are the current UK tax rates for betting and gaming operators?

General betting and pool betting duties are set at 15%, while remote gaming duties for online casino games are 21%.

🏇 How does the proposed tax simplification plan affect horse racing?

The BGC warns of potential financial setbacks for horse racing, as the sport heavily relies on betting operators for success.

❓ What measures in the government’s White Paper are causing concern for online operators?

The White Paper includes measures that could cost online operators over £895 million in Gross Gambling Yield.

🏀 Why is there criticism about the lack of consultation with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS)?

The BGC highlights a lack of communication, expressing concerns about a potential lack of coordination and understanding of the industry’s dynamics.

💸 How might the proposed tax changes impact jobs and investments in the betting and horse racing industries?

The BGC warns of potential risks to jobs, investments, and the competitiveness of British horse racing on the global stage if the tax changes proceed.

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