UK’s New Immigration System Will Harm Casino Industry, BGC Warns
The Betting and Gambling Council (BGC) has warned that the UK’s new points-based immigration system will harm the country’s casino industry.
The Home Office’s new system requires immigrants to fulfil certain requirements and amass 70 points to be eligible for a visa to the UK. Immigrants will also need a sponsored job offer, possess a certain skill set and have a minimum salary of £25,600 to qualify.
According to the BGC, around 70% of croupiers in the UK, who are from overseas, will not qualify under the new system as their skills and qualifications will not be recognised. Most croupiers will also not qualify due to their salaries which do not meet the minimum requirements set by the Home Office.
The BGC states that casinos employ over 14,000 people and contribute around £300 million in tax revenue every year. What’s more, the BGC has claimed that as a result, the country’s night-time economy and its tourism could take a hit due to the new rules as casinos attract wealthy tourists from various regions including China and the Middle East.
Michael Dugher, the Chief Executive of the BGC, said in a statement: “Casinos are a hugely important part of our country’s leisure industry attracting thousands of wealthy tourists to the UK from around the world. In order to remain competitive, our casinos need the best croupiers with great arithmetic agility.”
They added: “While we are determined to grow the number of UK croupiers through the NVQ in gaming operations available at many colleges and through the world-class Nottingham Casino Academy, we need the ability to employ the best from around the world.”
The UK Casino Industry
The BGC has urged the UK government to work with the casino and hospitality industry to ensure that the industry doesn’t suffer due to the new rules. The organisation has also been working on tightening regulations regarding gambling in the UK as part of a move to help promote responsible gambling and clamp down on addictions and other problematic behaviours.
Back in January, the BGC echoed the NHS Mental Health Boss Claire Murdoch’s calls for gambling firms to do more to tackle problem gambling. Murdoch pointed referenced the way online casinos offer players free tickets, VIP experiences and free bets to encourage them to gamble.
In the same month, Brigid Simmonds, the Chairman for the BGC, shared support for the UK Gambling Commission after the firm announced it was considering banning casino VIP programmes after discovering how the schemes push people to gamble more even after depositing and losing large amounts of money.