The Association of British Bookmakers According has publicly stated that they will not veto the recent Labour proposal on UKGC licensed bookmakers. According to this proposal, bookmakers will have to pay a compulsory levy that will go towards helping problem gamblers.
Tom Watson, Labour Deputy Leader, unveiled the proposal in Brighton, where the Party Conference took place. Watson insists on handling gambling similarly to tobacco some years ago. This is clearly stated on the recent campaign slogan “treat betting like tobacco”.
In response to the plan Peter Craske from ABB told TotallyGaming.com: “The Association of British Bookmakers fully support an evidence based approach to helping problem gambling in the UK and would support Mr Watson’s idea of a review, if it facilitated this. We also would not oppose an appropriate, compulsory levy on the gambling industry to fund problem gambling treatment, as we have long argued that the gambling industry needs to work together to reduce the number of problem gamblers and address the fact that most problem gamblers move between different forms of gambling.”
At the present time, bookmakers donate 0,1% of annual profit to Gamble-Aware, in order help fund the care for problem gamblers. Last year the amount was £7.8 million pounds to the cause.
Totally Gaming says: Supporting this proposal shows the positive intentions of The ABB, however it should be noted that a further Labour policy would be to impose a £2 maximum stake on FOBTs, something that The ABB have warned would lead to the closure of numerous betting shops. We therefore await whether Labour could implement this tax or succumb to the bookmakers' pressure.