The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has urged Chancellor Rishi Sunak to safeguard the future of London’s high-end casinos by modernising current payment regulations, including an amendment to section 81 of the Gambling Act 2005 to change ‘outdated legislation’.
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The BGC highlighted the financial contribution of venues including Les Ambassadeurs Club, Crown Aspinalls London and Crockfords Club, which employ 1,350 workers, and are said to contribute around £150 million a year in tax, as well as generating £188 million for London’s GDP and at least £120 million in additional tourism spend.
In its statement, the BGC recommended that the government amends section 81 of the Gambling Act 2005 to change ‘outdated legislation’ which effectively forces big spenders visiting the UK to use cheques in order to be able to play.
The BGC stated that processing those cheques has become increasingly expensive and outdated, and the casinos have called on the Chancellor to let them provide a fully-regulated funds advance facility to players from abroad.
This would enable them to settle with one transaction at the end of their trip, something they are currently barred from doing.
“The government is keen to promote Global Britain, so it’s vital that nothing is done which makes it harder to attract foreign visitors to the country,” explained Michael Dugher, chief executive of the BGC.
“We were delighted when casinos were given the green light to open again on 15 August so they could get back to business and play their part in helping the economic recovery.
“It is now essential that the Chancellor acts swiftly to facilitate this small change, which would have a massive impact on the ability of high end casinos to re-open again and to recover their business.
“Cheques are a 20th century payment instrument that is no longer fit for the 21st century customer or the global banking environment but there has to be a suitable replacement for those businesses that, through outdated law, are unable to transact with their customers any other way.
“Our high end casinos are a major ingredient in London’s reputation as a ‘go-to’ destination for high spending foreign tourists. This can all help to get the UK economy moving again.”