The UK’s Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has urged the government to address the cost-of-living crisis, as the hospitality and leisure industries’ operating costs continue to rise.
The BGC’s CEO, Michael Dugher, expressed grave concern about the rising cost of energy, saying, “The cost of simply doing business is rising at an exponential rate.” Continued energy price increases could have a catastrophic impact on the hospitality and leisure sector, including our members, if immediate action is not taken.”
“Casinos are a vital pillar of the hospitality and tourism sector in cities and towns across the UK,” he continued. They, like the rest of the hospitality industry, are struggling to rebuild after the global pandemic, and now face a new crisis.”
There are 6,500 betting shops and 121 casinos in the United Kingdom, employing 44,000 people and contributing over £4 billion ($4.72 billion) to the economy each year, as well as approximately £2 billion in taxes.
Businesses are facing a 300% increase in energy costs, while the Rank Group recently stated that the cost of energy in the UK could reach £46 million this year, up from £23 million last year.
The announcement comes as the UK government prepares for a leadership transition, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson stepping down after being forced to resign. Currently, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss are vying for 10 Downing Street, and both have laid out plans to alleviate the crisis when the Conservative election results are announced in September.