January 22, 2024 3 min read


JenningsBet Chimes in with Statutory Levy Warnings, Predicts Adverse Effects

Vicky Knight, JenningsBet’s head of safer gambling, addressed the matter in a Betting and Gaming Council blog post

JenningsBet, an independent British betting operator, has weighed on the statutory levy discussions, saying that the measure would have adverse effects. According to the company, a mandatory levy would result in closed shops and mass layoffs.

For reference, the statutory levy is a much-discussed measure outlined in the United Kingdom’s Gambling Act white paper. The levy would replace the current voluntary system whereby gambling operators across the country make voluntary donations for gambling research, education and treatment.

Under the mandatory levy, all online operators will have to provide 1% of their annual revenue for such initiatives, while land-based companies will pay only 0.4% because of the higher costs associated with retail operations. This move, according to its proponents, will provide treatment organizations with the funding they need to improve their services and efficiency.

However, opponents of the measure say that it may cause more harm than good. JenningsBet, for one, is not happy with the changes.

JenningsBet Warns of Shop Closures

Vicky Knight, JenningsBet’s head of safer gambling, addressed the matter in a Betting and Gaming Council blog post, saying that the new moves might actually hinder the industry’s ability to help those in need.

According to Knight, JenningsBet has dutifully paid the voluntary levy for two decades and is proud to have supported many excellent charities. However, she argues that the 0.4% levy on retail operators is disproportional and would lead to layoffs and closed shops.

That would be devastating for operators like us, which are the beating heart of many hard-pressed high streets, offering community to customers, and bringing in much-needed investment both locally and nationally.

Vicky Knight, head of safer gambling, JenningsBet

Knight pointed out that the retail sector has already been negatively affected by the COVID pandemic and the recent economic hurdles, causing the closure of dozens of shops and businesses. In just five years, 43% of the small betting businesses have died out, she pointed out.

She added that Family Entertainment Centers in the UK are exempt from the new rules and will only have to pay 0.1% despite having similar operating costs. Knight also mentioned the National Lottery, which has only contributed 0.01% of its gross gaming yield toward the levy over the past three years.

If all independent bookies are unfairly targeted with a higher levy than our peers, it will inevitably push some shops into unprofitability. That will mean further closures and job losses.

Vicky Knight, head of safer gambling, JenningsBet

Knight concluded that her team wants to pay its fair share, as it has done for two decades now. However, she hopes that the government will keep the independent bookmakers in mind when implementing the reforms.


Angel has a passion for all forms of writing, be it fiction or nonfiction. His curious nature gives him an ace up his sleeve when researching a new topic. Angel’s thirst for knowledge, paired with adaptability, always helps him find his way around.

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