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BGC pleads for ‘urgent action’ regarding ‘catastrophic’ price hikes

The Betting and Gaming Council is calling for added protections to safeguard the hospitality and leisure sector from business costs that are rising “at an exponential rate”.

Labelling the current price hikers as “catastrophic,” the industry standards body asserts that the country’s 6,500 betting shops and 121 casinos are “being hit hard by soaring energy bills”.

Despite it being suggested that an array of measures have been suggested to protect businesses and bill payers, no specific action has been taken.

These establishments, it is added, directly employ 44,000 people and support a further 48,000 jobs, while contributing £4bn to the UK economy and generating £2bn in taxes each year.

It is feared that amid the global energy crisis, which reportedly sees businesses facing increases of around 300 per cent, an increased rate of closures could affect LBOs.

“The cost of simply doing business is rising at an exponential rate,” noted Michael Dugher, CEO of the BGC. “If urgent action isn’t taken soon, continued energy price increases could have a catastrophic impact across the hospitality and leisure sector, including hitting our members.

“Casinos are a vital pillar of the hospitality and tourism sector in cities and towns across the UK. Just like the rest of the hospitality sector they are struggling to build back after the global pandemic and now they face a new crisis.

“Meanwhile bookmakers, which play a critical role on the UK’s hard-pressed high streets, face similar challenges. In short, any business which welcomes customers into a building must grapple with this energy emergency.”

This warning comes after Rank Group, a BGC member, cited concerns at inflationary pressures impacting its retail venues, with energy prices through 2023 expected to come in at £46m.

With exposure to market volatility beyond September, the company outlined plans to implement a number of mitigation initiatives, such as energy efficiency programmes.


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