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Jenningsbet Faces Closure Over Proposed UK Gambling Levy



Title (SEO): Jenningsbet Faces Closure Over Proposed UK Gambling Levy

In a turbulent moment for the UK gambling industry, independent bookmaker Jenningsbet is sounding the alarm about its potential closure and job losses.

The cause of this dire situation is the UK government’s proposed mandatory levy on gambling revenue, aimed at funding research, education, and treatment for gambling harm.

Jenningsbet argues that this levy would severely impact its operations and its ability to continue its charitable activities.


A Potential Blow to Community Bookmakers

Jenningsbet, with 100 branches and an online presence, asserts that if the mandatory levy is enforced, it would be left with no choice but to shutter its outlets and lay off staff. Moreover, this move would jeopardize the bookmaker’s ongoing charity work. The company contends that the current voluntary donation system is effective, while a mandatory fee would disproportionately burden independent bookmakers with high costs.

Vicky Knight, the Head of Safer Gambling at Jenningsbet, expressed her concerns on the Betting and Gaming Council website. She emphasized the role of independent bookmakers in supporting local communities, acting as hubs on high streets, and generating essential investments locally and nationally.

Independent Betting Shops in Decline

Knight noted a decline in the number of independent betting shops in the UK, from 696 in early 2019 to the current count of 536. These shops employ approximately 3,000 individuals and contribute significantly to business rates and tax revenues, with over £5.5 million in business rates and more than £25 million in taxes generated.

Jenningsbet’s impact extends beyond its own business, as it often serves as a catalyst for foot traffic to other local businesses. A study by ESA Retail found that 89 percent of betting shop customers combine their visits with trips to neighboring establishments, further underlining their importance to the local economy.


The Proposed Levy and Its Impact

The government’s proposal for the levy involves a sliding scale, ranging from 0.4 percent of gross gambling yield for smaller bookmakers to 1 percent for larger ones. The Betting and Gaming Council estimates that 492 bookies belonging to 38 businesses will be affected by the 0.4 percent levy.

While the percentage might seem modest, independent bookmakers operate on thin margins, making it challenging for them to absorb the fee alongside other operational costs. Knight pointed out that it’s even more frustrating when considering similar sectors like Adult Gaming Centres and Family Entertainment Centres, which pay a lower levy of 0.1 percent, despite having comparable operating costs.

Moreover, Knight raised concerns about the National Lottery, which contributes a relatively small percentage to the levy compared to the overall sector’s contribution. She argued that independent bookmakers should not bear a disproportionately higher levy burden.

A Plea for Fairness and Balance

In conclusion, Jenningsbet and independent bookmakers like it are willing to contribute their fair share to the levy, just as they have for the past two decades. However, they urge the government to consider their concerns and ensure that reforms do not lead to store closures and employee layoffs. Balancing the need for funding with the sustainability of businesses is crucial to maintaining a healthy and responsible gambling industry.


Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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