ABB would 'not oppose' Labour's new levy on bookmakers

ABB would 'not oppose' Labour's new levy on bookmakers

Friday, September 29, 2017 Posted by Joseph Streeter
The proposal was unveiled at this week’s Labour Conference in Brighton

The Association of British Bookmakers (The ABB) has announced it would ‘not oppose’ Labour’s new proposal to impose a compulsory levy on British bookmakers that would go towards helping treat problem gamblers.

The proposal, which was unveiled at this week’s Labour Conference in Brighton, is being spearheaded by the party's Deputy Leader Tom Watson and is an affirmation that Labour is toughening its stance on the gambling industry.

The policy follows on from Watson’s campaign to ‘treat betting like tobacco’, having announced earlier in the month his party would restrict gambling operators from sponsoring football clubs.

In response to the plan Peter Craske of The 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.”

Currently, GambleAware asks that gambling firms donate 0.1% of annual profit that is made to help fund care for problem gamblers, however last year firms fell short of the target, donating a total of £7.8 million pounds to the cause.

Totally Gaming says: Supporting the 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 regularly warned would lead to the closure of numerous betting shops, therefore before Labour could implement this tax, the taxable revenue that Labour are referring to in this policy may well have moved online and into casinos.

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