In 2019, the last full year of gambling data unaffected by covid, the gambling industry contributed £8.3 billion to the economy, or 0.4% of gross value added. The sector employs approximately 98,000 people and pays £2 billion a year in gambling duties. According to the British Horseracing Authority, racing has direct revenues in excess of £1.47 billion and makes a total annual contribution to the UK economy of over £4 billion.
I refer to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. I thank the Minister for that comprehensive reply. Can I urge him, in preparing the White Paper, to take a balanced view of the economic and social benefits, the considerable pleasure for millions who bet quite responsibly and the great contribution to the Exchequer, and balance that against the very vocal lobbying, particularly in some of the media, by those who basically, with gambling, are prohibitionists?
Again, I assure the right hon. Gentleman that the gambling White Paper was comprehensive, and the response will be comprehensive. We have taken evidence and information from across the entire sector, so views such as those he has represented we are absolutely taking into account during the consideration.