July 11, 2023 3 min read


BGC Faces Criticism over Unclear Study Representation

A study that probed the impact of the illegal gambling market during the World Cup was reportedly represented in a way that wasn't "fully accurate," a report claims

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the industry body representing the UK gaming and betting sector, faces criticism over the representation of information on separate occasions, a Monday report released by The Guardian reveals. The announcement comes at a time when BGC’s boss, Michael Dugher, is planned to appear in front of MPs on Tuesday as a part of the government’s plans to overhaul the regulation of the gambling industry in the country.

The Liberal Democrat peer Lord Foster, the new report suggests, raised his concerns about the reliability of the BGC, in light of controversial information regarding the results of a study published earlier this year. The study involved the impact of the illegal gambling market during the World Cup in Qatar between November and December 2022.

The results of the study, published late in January this year, warned that the number of UK gamblers visiting the unregulated online gambling market tripled during the World Cup. At the time the study was released, Dugher warned about the dangers of the black market and urged lawmakers to take a careful approach and “resist blanket, intrusive affordability checks at low levels that push even more punters to these dangerous sites.”

However, Foster argued that the representation of that particular report wasn’t entirely accurate, although the full report, which was compiled by Yield Sec, a gambling analysis firm, wasn’t published. Still, The Guardian noted that after obtaining a copy, it was uncovered that despite the increase in the customers visiting black market operators, they amounted to as little as 1% of the spent on gambling for the period. Additionally, the report described the impact of the unregulated market as “low.”

Criticism Comes amid Changes to the Gambling Regulations

Additional alleged inconsistencies included BGC’s stance on the mandatory levy for gambling operators to contribute toward gambling addiction treatment, education and research. Earlier this year, the Council said that such a move would be “welcomed” by its members but last year, Dugher labeled the mandatory levy for gambling companies to treat gambling-related harm as a “big step backwards.”

Referring to the report released earlier this year, Foster claimed that BGC’s representation wasn’t “fully accurate.” What’s more, he pointed out: “The solution to addressing the black market is to introduce proper enforcement to disrupt the operations of these sites … rather than abandoning much needed additional regulation of the gambling industry.”

The announcement comes at a time of change for the regulated gambling market in the country. It follows the review of the Gambling Act which sought to improve the regulations and make them more suitable for the digital age, amid growth and expansion of the online gambling and betting industry.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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