Gambling Industry Is A Significant Contributor To The British Economy

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Apr 21, 2017

New study by respected professional business service provider underlines the importance of the BACTA sector

The UK amusements and low stake gaming industry contributes close to GBP 2 billion to the UK gross domestic product (GDP), supports the employment of 34,000 people and pays some GBP 270 million of Machine Gaming Duty (MGD) and machine VAT, according to the highlights of a study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) on behalf of the British Amusement Catering Trade Association (BACTA).

The purpose of the research was to provide a fact-base of insights and was undertaken in the period July to September 2015. The sources used include publically available data from gambling and other bodies including the Gambling Commission, H2 Gambling Capital, HMRC and Local Authority licensing returns database as well as interviews with industry players with businesses operating across the major industry verticals.

Using analytical tables provided by the Office for National Statistics, the industry contribution to UK GDP has been calculated at GBP 1.9 billion, a figure which BACTA CEO, John White believes reflects the status and importance of the industry on the national stage.

He explained: “Successive governments have made it crystal clear how much importance they place on evidentially backed arguments. To be able to present our case for progressive and fair legislation backed by authoritative economic insights provided by a highly respected organisation such as PwC has been invaluable.”

“Essentially, PwC has created an economic census of the business which demonstrates that amusements is a very serious industry indeed and one that contributes substantially to the well being of UK plc. This substantial body of work is part of our Challenge Agenda which is designed to help BACTA members navigate social, economic lifestyle and demographic changes ”

To give some context to the figures, the GBP 270 million in MGD and machine VAT alone would be sufficient to purchase over 300 MRI Scanners (National Audit Office figures show the NHS has just 426).

Using education as the funding benchmark, a secondary school which is built directly from scratch can cost anywhere from between GBP 9 million to GBP 30 million, depending on its size and geographical location.

The total employment supported in the UK is calculated in a similar way and based on Input-Output modelling. The data reveals the industry supports 34,000 jobs, a proportion of which are in areas of high unemployment, including at the coast.

On 3 April 2017, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid announced that communities up and down the coast were to benefit from a GBP 40 million cash boost with projects being supported in order to create new jobs, attract tourists and boost economic growth.

John White is clear that the employment supported by the industry is particularly important in parts of the country which have been disproportionately impacted by recession and are struggling to find their economic feet.

He stated: “The government recognises the need to stimulate coastal economies. Since 2012 it has invested GBP 120 million in projects through the Coastal Communities Fund. That money is actually augmenting what our industry is already doing through the provision of jobs and supporting regional and local economies. Coastal tourism is an extremely important economic contributor and BACTA members are providing the infrastructure which will facilitate its growth and development.”

Brian Cullingworth

Infopowa news was a staple of Casinomeister’s news from 2000 until 2019. Brian Cullingworth was the main writer, contributor, and was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known involved in the online casino industry.

We first met in January 2001 at the ICE in London where I observed him going booth to booth interviewing online casino, software, and licensing jurisdiction representatives. Brian was also heavily involved with our forum as “Jetset“, he was involved as an informal consultant to eCOGRA, the OPA, and was a player advocate who assisted countless aggrieved players with his connections to industry folks. He also published “Casino Cautions” via Infopowa news for quite a number of years. These can be found in our news archives.

His passing in February 2019 was a dark day for us. He will be forever missed.

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