This week it was announced that the chief
executive of Bet365 paid herself £217 million last year.
It used to be companies like JVC, Sharp, Sega that sponsored Premiere League teams
And now more than half of Premiere League shirt sponsors are gambling companies.
How have we got to a situation where some of the biggest companies in our economy are
gambling companies? I’m not a prohibitionist but the only point
to legalising something and legitimising it Is to regulate it and get tax from it. Unfortunately a lot of these gambling companies are based offshore.
They don’t pay tax here and the tax is needed to pay for treatment for the people that get
addicted. A huge proportion of people that gamble become
addicted or are at risk. For fixed odds betting terminals its 2 in
every 5 people that use the machines. Not only that, spending on gambling does not
create as many jobs as if it was spent in the wider economy.
You don’t need to employ that many people to operate machines,
You don’t need to employ that many people to operate a website.
So this money, coming from often the most vulnerable people in our society,
often going out of the country, where no tax is paid on it.
Where no contribution to services is made, Where no contribution to employment is made.
You have to question, what’s the point of it is? Really you have to look at at online gambling companies and ask what value, what benefit
they actually bring to society? Extracting money out of the pockets of ordinary
people, creating a problem of addiction, gambling
related harm, family breakup, And for what, so people like Denise Coates
can get rich? Something has to change. Thankfully Labour
have commited to introducing a statutory levy on the gambling industry and revisiting the
issue of regulation. This government has to act.
Letting gambling companies loose on our economy hasn’t benefited anyone except the 1%, who
avoid tax and don’t produce anything. Its the sign of a broken economy,
let’s fix it.