Little Support for Affordability Checks and Spending Limits Amongst UK Gamblers

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has published the results of a new YouGov survey carried out on its behalf that looked into the concerns of the average punter.

The survey found that 67% of respondents believe that compulsory betting limits will push people to the gambling black market and 64% of respondents believe that this will result in an increase in problem gambling rates.

Close to 70% of respondents said that they would not allow licensed gambling operators to carry out affordability checks, a measure that is being championed by anti-gambling campaigners.

Over the last few years, the number of people placing bets on the black market in the UK has doubled from 220,000 to 460,000, and it is thought that billions of pounds have been bet at unlicensed operators.

The UK Gambling Commission’s latest data shows that the rate of problem gambling in the UK is just 0.3%, down from 0.4% last year and very low by international standards.

Michael Dugher, the BGC Chief Executive, believes that it is important that ministers consider the results of the YouGov survey as they prepare to publish the long-awaited gambling white paper.

He has consistently called for the government to ensure that while it works to protect vulnerable players, it does not drive the majority of gamblers, who bet safely and responsibly, to the unregulated black market.

We strongly support the Gambling Review as a further opportunity to raise standards and promote safer gambling. Ministers have rightly always said it will be an evidence-led process, these poll findings are an important reminder of the risks of getting this wrong by introducing arbitrary blanket spending checks on anyone who likes a flutter. Any changes introduced by the Government must be carefully targeted so that we protect the vulnerable and intervene on those showing signs of harm, whilst not driving the vast majority of millions of punters who bet safely towards the growing unsafe black market online, where there are none of the safer gambling protections used by BGC members.

Michael DugherBGC Chief Executive