December 1, 2022 3 min read


BGC Says World Cup Gambling Fears Unfounded

Amid the long-anticipated 2022 World Cup, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) in the UK released a new report outlining that the famous soccer tournament led to an increase in gambling misconceptions.

Can the World Cup Bring Gambling Harm?

BGC’s chairman, Brigid Simmonds, said Thursday that poorly informed commentators and anti-gambling lobbyists have claimed that the World Cup will deliver significant gambling harm. Looking further into the topic, the BGC’s chairman pointed out that currently there is no evidence that supports claims that the World Cup will cause harm.

On the contrary, Simmonds pointed out that BGC members implemented the Whistle-to-Whistle ban, which reduces the advertising of betting during live soccer events. What’s more, the ban stops betting advertising five minutes before the start of a game and five minutes after its end. According to the BGC’s chairman, this ban alone has led to a 97% reduction in the number of children seeing betting ads on TV.

Further supporting that there are misconceptions regarding gambling harm and the World Cup, Simmonds added that digital media platforms have restricted the appearance of ads for people under the age of 25. This helped remove more than 100 million social media impressions, the BGC’s chairman explained.

Anti-gambling lobbyists, backed by poorly informed commentators, have reached for ever more extreme reasons to claim this World Cup will cause harm, despite there being no evidence to confirm that,

Brigid Simmonds OBE, chairman of the Betting and Gaming Council

The Problem Gambling Rate Remains Low

Focusing on data regarding the number of gamblers and the problem gambling rate, Simmonds pointed out that based on data from the UK’s independent regulator, approximately 22.5 million adults enjoy gambling activities such as casino, lottery, bingo, online gambling and betting. She stressed that this number includes people placing wagers on soccer games and added that the current rate of problem gambling is 0.3% which is low even by international standards.

In fact, despite Covid, and the cost-of-living crisis, problem gambling rates in the UK have been falling for the past number of years. It is not soaring, it is not rocketing, it remains a small number of the many millions who bet safely and responsibly,

added Simmonds

Simmonds added that despite the cost-of-living crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, the “problem gambling rates in the UK have been falling for the past number of years.” She said that the problem gambling rate, contrary to what some misinformed groups are claiming, remains low considering the millions of people betting. This, according to her is the result of joint efforts to reduce harm taken by the gambling regulator, charities, as well as the industry in the country.


William Velichkov is a research-driven writer. His strengths lie in ensuring factual accuracy, vetting government documentation and reaching out to regulators and other officials. He is particularly fond of financial reporting, the sports betting industry, B2B partnerships and esports betting developments. William is a strong asset to the GamblingNews team as he adds a bedrock to our reporting.

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