Memorandum submitted by Business in Sport
and Leisure Limited
1.1 Business in Sport and Leisure (BISL)
is an umbrella organisation that represents nearly 100 private
sector companies in the commercial sport and leisure industry.
BISL members include most of the major operators of commercial
leisure in the UK and many consultants who specialise in this
field. In the context of the commercial gaming industry, members
of BISL operate on and off-course betting, pools, casinos, bingo
and amusement machines. Members of BISL who are listed on the
London Stock Exchange have a combined market capitalisation in
excess of £40 billion.
1.2 BISL has established a Gaming Working
Group, which consists of BISL members specifically looking at
current issues affecting the gambling industry. These include
developing BISL policy on Gaming Reform and influencing Government
policy. The Gaming Working Group has given a written submission
to the Gambling Review Body. BISL also published an independent
study by KPMG in May 2000, on "The Economic Value and Public
Perception of Gambling in the UK", commissioned by its members.
A copy of this study is enclosed.
2. IMPACT OF
2.1 Initially the National Lottery was introduced
and presented by the Government as harmless amusement with substantial
charity benefits. There is no doubt however, that the National
Lottery has had an impact on the commercial gaming industry and
in particular on the pools and betting sectors.
2.2 The National Lottery Act 1994 is a modern
piece of legislation designed for the 20th Century. The Gaming
Act 1968; the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963 and the Lottery
and Amusements Act 1976 are all out-dated and in need of reform.
Some changes have been made to these Acts through use of the Deregulation
and Contracting Out Act 1994 during the 1990s, but restrictions
on advertising in particular have made it very difficult for commercial
operators to compete with the National Lottery.
2.3 Pools companies have been particularly
affected by the introduction of the National Lottery. The chart
below shows changes in turnover, number of employees and contributions
to betting duty and good causes.
|Number of Employees||5,600
|Contributions to Football Trust||£26 million
|Contributions to Foundation for Sport and the Arts
||£68 million||£5 million
|Pool Betting Duty||£352 million
2.4 During the passage of the National Lottery Bill,
the Home Office agreed to monitor the impact of the Lottery on
the Horserace Betting Levy. Responsibility for this monitoring
has been undertaken by the Economics and Resource Analysis unit
of the Home Office's Research, Development and Statistics Directorate.
2.5 In each of the past five years, the research undertaken
has shown that the Lottery has increasingly had a negative impact
on off-course betting and the Horserace Betting Levy. In the latest
report, published earlier this year, off-course betting expenditure
in 1999 was estimated at 14.7 per cent below the level it would
have been expected to reach in the absence of the National Lottery.
2.6 In 1996, the Henley Centre estimated that off-course
betting turnover in 1995 had reduced by 8.5 per cent as a result
of the National Lottery. For the same year the Home Office estimated
that the loss was 11.8 per cent. These estimates however preceded
the introduction of the midweek draw. With the introduction of
the midweek draw, the deficit rose to 14.7 per cent in 1999.
2.7 In 1995, the Henley Centre found that betting office
profits were 35 per cent lower than they would have been in the
absence of the Lottery. In the same year the Horserace Betting
Levy was reduced by £5.4 million and total Government revenues
had fallen by £82 million. Four hundred betting offices had
closed by the end of 1995 and more than 3,400 industry jobs were
lost. Today the number of operating licensed betting offices is
estimated at 8,300, compared with 9,300 immediately prior to the
introduction of the National Lottery.
3.1 People over the age of 16 may play the Lottery and
the Pools, but you must be 18 to participate in any form of commercial
gambling with the exception of certain low stake/low prize amusement
machines mainly found in seaside resorts. Over the past six years,
the National Lottery has become a product of the commercial gaming
industry. BISL believes that the age for playing the National
Lottery, and indeed for all forms of gambling, should be raised
4.1 Business in Sport and Leisure would be delighted
to give oral evidence to the Select Committee if this was considered
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