UK Gambling Industry: UK Post-Brexit Immigration Policy Will Affect Casino Sector
Planned UK immigration policy will affect the gaming sector badly, including other sectors of the UK economy. That’s the argument of BGC (Betting and Gaming Council) and the gambling industry trade association. These two associations have advised the government to exclude casino workers from a new, stringent set of regulations proposed to be enforced immediately after the UK’s departure from the EU next year.
According to the proposed rule known as the “point system”, working visa will be awarded to applicants based on certain set of criteria, which includes the ability to speak the English language, qualifications and skills. This means that applicants must meet the set criteria and the point benchmark before working visas can be obtained.
But according to the BGC, it would be difficult for a large number of immigrants that account for 70% of the casino workforce in the UK to meet the new criteria. Many foreign workers will not be qualified to work.
Applicants are required to meet a total of 70 points under the government proposed policy. Having a job offer from an “approved employer” at an “appropriate skill level” will give the applicant a 50 points advantage. But it is very challenging to get up to the required 70 points.
Having a PhD will only get an applicant an extra 10 points, although the points will be doubled if such an applicant has a doctorate in any STEM subject (science, technology, engineering, or math).
The BGC has warned that croupiers will not be able to accumulate enough points based on specific professions, salaries, qualifications or skills. Adding that “using salary requirements or arbitrary skills will destroy the highly successful sectors of the UK economy.”
“Casinos are an important part of the country’s entertainment industry, attracting numerous wealthy tourists into the United Kingdom from all over the world,” said Michael Dugher, BGC chief executive in a released statement. “To remain competitive, casinos need the best croupiers with excellent arithmetic agility.
“We are determined to increase the number of croupiers in the UK via a vocational qualification (NVQ) in Gaming Operations available at numerous colleges, and through the Nottingham Casino Academy, we need the ability to get the best croupiers.”
The BGC notes that there have been announcements of exemptions for some skills and workers by the government and hopes that casino workers will be included on the exemption list.
Taking back immigration control was one of the key messages campaigned by Prime Minister Boris Johnson when attempting to leave the EU.
The government is willing to push through on its campaign and replace the free border movement of the EU with a stricter policy that will “welcome and attract the brightest and the best.”
Those were the words of Priti Patel, the Home Secretary who admitted last month that her Indian immigrant parents would not have qualified to work and live in the United Kingdom under the new system.