BGC Welcomes British Government’s COVID-19 Package

BGC Welcomes British Government’s COVID-19 Package

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) an industry body representing 90% of the British gaming and betting industry today welcomed the COVID-19 package announced by the government.

What did the UK authorities announce?

The British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced a package of measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic last week. The BGC today applauded the government for taking a huge step to help businesses that were affected by the pandemic.

BGC Welcomes British Government’s COVID-19 Package

The government initially excluded the gaming and betting companies for the list of businesses and premises in the leisure, hospitality and retail sectors that could receive a business rate relief scheme due to nationwide closures. However, it later included bingo halls, casinos and betting shops in the list of business that will get business rate holiday for 12 months. BGC praised that the industry was treated rightly by the authorities.

What else did the government propose?

The government has also introduced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This scheme allows employers to pay a part of their employees’ salaries instead of laying them off. The HMRC is expected to reimburse about 80% of the wage costs of the furloughed workers up to £2,500 per month.

BGC CEO Michael Dugher commented on the measures and said,

“Casinos and betting shops together support the majority of employment in the betting and gaming industry – around 64,000 jobs. Without the ability to generate revenue from football and horseracing, which account for 75 percent of the UK licensed sports betting market, these employment costs were simply unsustainable going forward.”

It has also launched the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme which allows companies to get an interest free loan of £5 million for 12 months. The loan will be provided by the British Business Bank. It has also deferred VAT for the next quarter. Together, the two measures will provide more liquidity to businesses when they reopen after the shutdown.

The government has also provided COVID-19 Corporate Financial Facility from the Bank of England. The bank will buy short term debt from big companies which helps them in avoiding the short-term liquidity issues arising because of the shutdown. The government is also planning to bring legislation that helps employers and SMEs to reclaim their Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), to refund a maximum of 2 weeks to every employee who was sick from coronavirus. This scheme will be applicable to all employers who have less than 250 employees.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.