Much has been made of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda, and a recent report found that the nation’s regulated betting and gaming industry is set to make a significant contribution over the coming years.
The report from the Purpose Coalition found that the gambling industry, including online bingo, will generate roughly 15,000 technology jobs over the coming years. The online gambling industry already directly employs approximately 10,000 people in high-skilled technology jobs, and it supports a further 30,000 jobs.
However, it is now thought that the industry will generate far more employment, in particular outside of London, based on the current trends of iGaming and online casinos’ growth within the United Kingdom. If you’re interested in reliable online casino sites, you can check our casino list.
In its report, the Purpose Coalition praised members of the UK’s Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) for their role in providing jobs, training, and investment outside of the capital city.
The BGC is the official standards body for the regulated gambling industry, while the Purpose Coalition is comprised of the UK’s most innovative businesses and organisations, including the BBC, Amazon, various universities, county councils, and NHS Trusts.
The June report from the Coalition explained how BGC members are leading the way in entertainment and technology development and how they are showing true determination to help the nation recover from the coronavirus pandemic. In particular, it highlighted how much of this work is taking place outside of the capital.
Close to two-thirds of gambling industry jobs are already located outside of London. There are almost 20,000 in the West Midlands alone, with 4,000 jobs in Stoke and 1,700 in Leeds. As such, the industry is already doing a great deal to support the UK’s struggling high streets with its modern betting shops, as well as adjacent industries such as tourism and hospitality, through casinos.
Speaking after the report’s publication, the chief executive of the BGC, Michael Dugher, said:
“The BGC wants to build a world-class industry that is better understood, respected, and a fully engaged member of the communities in which we operate.”
“We are proud to work with the Purpose Coalition on the Levelling Up Goals, and it is great to see how our members are providing high skilled, well-paid jobs across the retail, hospitality, and tech sectors.”
“Our members are global leaders in the betting and gaming industry, with the online betting, gaming, and bingo sector now on track to deliver another 15,000 high-paid, high-skilled jobs. The only thing that risks that growth will be poorly conceived regulations that hamper business and threaten jobs.”
Jo Gideon, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent, also welcomed the report. She explained how it demonstrates that the betting and gaming industry is leading the Levelling Up agenda in all parts of the UK, not just the major cities.
Gideon singled out bet365, which has its headquarters in Stoke-on-Trent, as an example of an iGaming company that is providing high-skilled jobs that offer long-term career prospects for those in the area. She added, “As we deal with the legacy of Covid-19 and challenges such as the cost of living, the importance of responsible organisations and the role they play has never been greater.”
The Purpose Coalition aims to help businesses assess their Levelling Up contribution through the setting of goals and the measuring of achievements. The June report found that the regulated gaming industry exceeds these goals in several areas, such as the creation of high-skilled jobs, investment in local communities, ensuring employees’ good health and wellbeing, and more.
At present, the gambling industry (including online and land venues) supports just under 120,000 jobs and brings in £4.5 billion in taxes for the Treasury. However, the industry is by no means stagnant. BGC members have committed to creating 5,000 industry apprenticeships between now and 2025 and investing a further £20 million in training and development programmes. They also run several diversity and inclusion initiatives, ensuring that no sector of society is left behind.
For example, Sky Betting & Gaming launched its Inclusion Pledge in 2020. It sets out the leadership team’s commitment to inclusion and the role the wider team can play in achieving a more inclusive and diverse workplace. Similarly, the online operator Gamesys created a number of employee-led networks, such as the Gamesys League of Women, which promotes gender inclusivity and helps women to flourish and develop within the company.
Purpose Coalition’s report cites several specific examples of the charitable work being carried out by gambling operators. For example, Entain launched its Global Foundation in September 2019 and committed to donating £100 million over the next five years towards responsible gambling, education and treatment. Similarly, in 2021, William Hill began work towards becoming a dementia-friendly organisation in partnership with Alzheimer’s Society. They offer a training cause designed to educate people about the disease, and more than 3,000 William Hill employees have taken part.
When the report was published by Lord Walney, Chair of the Purpose Business Coalition, said:
“This analysis highlights the positive economic and social contribution made by members of the Betting and Gaming Council who are sustaining well-paid high-tech jobs in several communities that are the focus of the government’s levelling up drive. The geographic spread of betting and gaming companies, their presence on most of our local high streets, and the integral links the sector has with vital sporting events give BGC members an important role to play in levelling up the UK.”
“The Betting and Gaming Council is showing real leadership in supporting its members to increase this positive impact further at a crucial moment for the UK economy and the sector. I look forward to continuing to work with them as a valued member of the Purpose Coalition.”
In short, there is ample evidence that the regulated gambling industry is a force for good within the UK, generating jobs around the country, making charitable contributions, investing in the community, and overall helping the nation to level up.