Great Britain: Help for the gambling industry
It's been good for the British gambling industry in recent years almost always uphill, the problems have increased in recent months. In a negative sense, the crown is now being put on the whole thing by the corona virus. Its impact on the industry is so massive that the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has had to ask the UK government for support. The good news: the industry, which provides hundreds of thousands of jobs, can apparently rely on financial aid from the government.
Corona crisis has gambling industry in a stranglehold
Since now For several weeks now, the corona virus has been rolling relentlessly across the globe. The disease does not stop at Great Britain either, and numerous industries and companies "on the island" are affected. The sports betting companies in particular are currently in the doldrums. The reason for this lies primarily in thecancellation of almost all sporting events. Football is no longer played in the British Premier League. This area alone usually gives betting providers a large part of their income. In addition, the Grand National horse race is to be canceled. This should have started in early April.All equestrian sport in the UK will be on pause until the end of April. In the Premier League, the break is likely to be even longer.
This means setbacks not only for sports clubs, but also for gambling companies. In Great Britaincountless jobs and actually a massive economic power depend on this industry. Exactly that seems more threatened than ever in the current days.
BGC demands help from the British government
As a direct reaction to the numerous cancellations and impending financial losses, the BGC has therefore turned to the government. Financial aid was requested on Tuesday to save jobs in the industry. Specifically, according to the Council, this is primarily aboutsupport with the payment of personnel costs or salaries. In addition, according to the BGC, simplifications in tax payments, extensions of periods for payment obligations and access to further financial ones are necessary. The British Horseracing Authority, in persona of Chief Executive Nick Rust, said:
“We are in constant contact with the Government who understand the serious consequences of this decision for jobs and businesses. We will work closely with her and do our best to deal with the negative impact."
Impact already being felt
However, it is already clear that the UK gaming industry is about to one of the greatest challenges of all. Numerous corporations such as Flutter Entertainment, William Hill or theEntain Group recently commented on the corona virus and its effects. The cancellation of the sporting events alone threatens a loss of around 109 million euros. On top of that, you would lose tens of millions of pounds every month as horse racing is canceled and betting shops have to close.On the stock exchange, the papers of the companies had to accept enormous losses. The Flutter shares lost in the meantime by eight percent, GVC papers even by twelve percent. The sad leader in this area, however, was William Hill. In the meantime, the shares have lost more than 25 percent in value.
The developer Playtech is still in a positive mood. Here, too, the flood of cancellations will cost a lot of money. However, the developer recently announced that the casino area, the core business, has had hardly any effects so far. Instead, you can even see a slight plus in online bingo or poker. According to Playtech, the group is aware that this situation does not necessarily have to continue. Nevertheless, one sees one's own company in a good position and is confident of being able to survive this crisis. In addition to Playtech, other companies have recently started to focus more on virtual sports betting and online casino games. According to the British media, William Hill has increasingly been advertising alternative products such as virtual sports betting or betting on the Belarusian football league in recent days. The latter is actually still being played.
New pressure from the upper stake limit?
The online casino providers in the country are benefiting primarily from the cancellation of sporting events. Players appear to be placing far larger bets that might otherwise have gone to sports betting. As the British newspaper "The Guardian" reports, this circumstance is apparently causing headaches for several politicians. Several MPs are said to have written to the BGC asking them tolimit stakes to a maximum of 50 pounds a day. However, this should only be introduced for a short time in the course of the Corona crisis. According to experts, people with problematic gaming behavior are now particularly at risk in times of the Corona crisis. They would now be surrounded by gambling in their own room around the clock and could quench their addiction at any time. In the letter, the MEPs therefore also call on the BGC not to put the health of the company ahead of the health of its customers. Specifically, the letter states:
“We are deeply concerned that more and more people will turn to online gambling as a distraction as we have to delve deeper into this crisis. If the industry were to impose a daily limit of £50 per player on itself, it would be a small demonstration that the industry is ready to act responsibly at this terrible time and do whatever it takes to protect society and people's finances .”
How thegambling industry will react to the demands or the letter from the MPs is still unclear. Given the financial difficulties of numerous companies, however, it seems difficult to imagine that the companies will really embark on this deal.