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Fiona Simmons January 26, 2023 3 min read
Dugher Does Not Know What’s in the White Paper and Neither Do Journalists
Even Michael Dugher does not know much about the contents of the white paper, the CEO said at an important BGC meeting today
Michael Dugher, the chief executive officer of the Betting and Gaming Council addressed the matter of the upcoming white paper at BGC’s Annual General Meeting. The modernization of the United Kingdom’s gambling laws continues getting postponed and the BGC does not know a lot about its exact contents.
Rumors Claim the Mandatory Levy Is “In There”
As reported by Gambling Insider, Martin Le Jeune, Entain’s head of public affairs, spoke with Dugher about the proposed mandatory levy amid increased calls for its introduction. Gambling critics have continued to promote the idea of a tax that would force all operators to donate 1% of their proceeds to GambleAware. Currently, BGC members provide voluntary donations to support the research of gambling harm.
Le Jeune wanted Dugher to address recent rumors that claimed the mandatory levy may still be written into law. According to the Guardian author Rob Davies, the white paper is undergoing a “second write round.” The journalist later provided an update saying that sources told him the statutory levy is in there. Daily Mail senior political correspondent Tom Whiterow also shared news about these rumors.
Dugher responded to Le Jeune by saying he cannot be certain whether the statutory levy would become a reality. The BGC CEO revealed that even he cannot be certain of the exact contents of the white paper. Dugher noted that, currently, there are many changes being made and that even people close to the process may struggle to tell what the final version will contain.
Unconfirmed Claims Should Be Taken with a Grain of Salt, Dugher Says
The discussion saw Le Jeune address a widely believed misconception. While the current system of voluntary donations has proven to be effective, many believe that the industry is using its influence to dictate GambleAware’s moves. Because of that, anti-gambling activists want to replace the current system with a new one, in spite of warnings against such a measure.
Le Jeune fears that these allegedly false claims, which are often perpetuated even by senior officials, are why there is a high chance the industry may be “fighting an uphill battle.”
To that, Dugher responded that it is still early to say what the white paper would contain as discussions are ongoing. He added that Rob Davies and Tom Whiterow are “campaigning journalists,” meaning that their words should be taken with a grain of salt. He noted that the two might have contacted people who have an idea about the ongoing discussions but that does not mean they know what the white paper will contain.