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UK Casinos Keen to See Government Changes Implemented

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UK land-based casinos have indicated that they are keen on many of the proposed changes outlined in the Government White Paper, with David Williams, the Director of Public Affairs of the Rank Group, one of the UK's largest retail bingo and casino operators, saying the gaming industry is crying out for the changes.

Williams believes many of the proposals will significantly change the gaming industry in the region and modernize the gaming industry in the UK.

The Public Affairs Director of the Rank Group said there was some urgency in the gaming industry for changes to be implemented soon because several government policies have led to increased financial pressures on retail gambling outlets.

The White Paper produced by the Government is a list of proposals for gambling reform in the UK that have been put out to industry stakeholders for consultation. The process is currently in the second round of consultations before the Government finalizes the full range of amendments to new gambling legislation.

These improvements cannot come a moment too soon and it is precisely why the industry is urging the Government to keep its foot to the floor in delivering their response to the land-based consultation, laying the necessary statutory instruments and getting the legislation delivered in the first half of 2024. It all takes time, and whilst timing is everything, we are not blessed with time on our side. […] We are playing catch-up with casinos elsewhere in the world, and much of the wider gambling ecosystem here in the UK. Only when the legislation is delivered can we set about making our casinos more modern and appealing.

David WilliamsDirector of Public Affairs at Rank Group

Impact of Casino Duty Freeze and UK Minimum Wage Rise

UK casinos say they are feeling the squeeze after the UK government has increased the minimum wage for all employees in the region. Rank says this will increase their costs by an estimated £10 million a year and points out that the operator is not able to pass these costs onto customers.

The casino gaming duty bands for land-based operators have remained unchanged for the year as outlined in the budget for the region last year. Due to inflation, this has the effect of adding another £10 million to the costs of the Rank Group in the UK.

Related: BGC Objects to Gaming Duty Bands Freeze for UK Casinos

UK Casinos Welcome White Paper Proposals

The Rank Group has welcomed the idea that retail casinos are permitted to offer sports betting to their customers, as well as electronic card payment in the land-based venues.

Many UK casino and sports betting operators have expressed their backing for the idea of a statutory levy on the gambling industry, which will be used for the treatment and support of problem gamblers.

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