JenningsBet, a British betting operator, has voiced concerns over the proposed statutory levy, stating that it could have negative repercussions. The levy is a hot topic in the UK’s Gambling Act white paper, aiming to replace the current voluntary system with a mandatory one. Under the proposed levy, online operators would have to contribute 1% of their annual revenue, while land-based companies would only pay 0.4%. This change is intended to provide necessary funding for gambling research, education, and treatment.
However, JenningsBet argues that the mandatory levy could lead to the closure of shops and job layoffs. Vicky Knight, the head of safer gambling at JenningsBet, expressed her concerns in a blog post, highlighting that the 0.4% levy on retail operators is disproportionate and could have severe implications for the industry.
Knight emphasized that the retail sector has already been struggling due to the impact of the COVID pandemic and economic challenges, resulting in the closure of numerous shops. She also pointed out disparities where other establishments, such as Family Entertainment Centers and the National Lottery, are subject to lower levy contributions despite similar operating costs.
The company fears that a higher levy for independent bookies could make some shops unprofitable, leading to further closures and job losses. Knight stressed that they are willing to pay their fair share but hope that the government will take independent bookmakers into consideration when implementing the reforms.
In conclusion, JenningsBet has raised concerns about the potential consequences of the proposed statutory levy, urging the government to consider the implications for independent bookmakers and the wider retail betting sector.