'Mutually beneficial' relationship between betting industry and British sport
The partnership between the high street betting industry and British sport was celebrated at a Conservative Party Conference reception last night.
“The history of the British betting industry is certainly firmly rooted in the British people’s enjoyment of sport” said the chief executive of the Association of British Bookmakers, Malcolm George, at the fringe in which guests could view various sporting trophies up close. Both industries were part of British culture and it was difficult to imagine one without the other, he added.
The industry recognises the “mutually beneficial” nature of this relationship, he said, and was pleased to be able to provide numerous financial benefits to those sports as a result of betting activity. He clarified that although discussions around reform of the Horserace Betting Levy continued, “let me make clear that the high street betting industry remains fully committed to delivering a fair financial return to the sport.”
He emphasised how betting shops employ 43,000 people and contribute over £3bn to the economy each year, which in turn supports sporting industries.
The industry also recognises it must play its part in preventing sports betting from becoming a cause for concern, he added, investing significant resource in sports betting integrity initiatives including High street betting operators work closely with the Gambling Commission, sports bodies, and law enforcement agencies via the Sports Betting Integrity Forum.
“It is also important for the industry that we give back at a community level” George stressed, through support of grassroots sports and associated organisations including Metro Blind Sport in London, the Swanside Community Centre in Liverpool and the NSPCC at a national level.
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