In the United Kingdom and The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) trade group has released a statement asking the government to implement a range of measures to help it members weather a recent downturn in business caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
The BGC advocates on behalf of the nation’s land-based betting and gaming industries as well its betting shops and iGaming operators while its petition followed the publication of new government advise yesterday that counselled people to avoid crowded places such as pubs and clubs and cease all non-essential travel.
The organization used the appeal to ask the recently-installed Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, to implement ‘emergency assistance’ that would help its members with their employment costs. It pronounced that this should ideally include ‘time to pay’ delays for all withholding tax liabilities such as Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and National Insurance contributions alongside ‘business rates relief and time to pay on duties and corporation tax’.
The BGC declared that its request was formulated following consultations with its members and that the government should moreover consider temporarily suspending ‘consultation periods’ so as to allow its members’ workforces to be ‘flexed speedily’ in order ‘to ensure business continuity.’
The group stated that casinos in the United Kingdom had recently seen customer levels drop by up to 90% while sportsbetting firms are worried about the impacts of the recent postponement of several major sporting events including the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship, the Six Nations Championship and their most lucrative single-day event of the year, the Grand National horseracing extravaganza from Aintree Racecourse.
The BGC also asked the government to put pressure on banks to extend their support for small and medium-sized businesses through the initiation of repayment and interest holidays and take heed of an earlier request to reform existing commercial tax rates so as ‘to allow more small businesses to take advantage of the small business retail rate relief.’
Michael Dugher, Chief Executive for the BGC, used the plea to proclaim that his organization’s members are currently facing ‘an unprecedented challenge to keep both customers and staff safe’ while simultaneously being worried about their payroll commitments. He furthermore proclaimed that the British land-based and online gaming industries ‘urgently need temporary government support’ alongside the government to ‘understand that insurance simply doesn’t cover the impact of a pandemic.’
Read a statement from Dugher…
“We are speaking with the government to ensure it is fully aware of the crisis facing our members and discussing the steps necessary to help the leisure industry and its staff through this incredibly challenging period. This is a national emergency and the government’s public health response has to be matched in scale by emergency help for businesses and employees.”