December 12, 2022 3 min read


BGC Urges Government for Clarity on Affordability Checks

The regulated gambling sector is under threat with mandatory affordability checks “already hurting” the industry’s bottom line argues the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), a trade group that represents the British gaming industry.

New Research Reiterates the Known Facts

The BGC has been a passionate advocate for an approach towards the re-regulation of the industry that takes fact over bias to guide the process of rewriting laws in the country under the White Paper which has been delayed by a whole year now, and which is in what seems like a perpetual state of “to be published soon.”

New research provided to the BGC by EY claims that the sector has been able to keep its head above water despite the mounting costs of living and energy bills soaring, but this may not be the case should tougher affordability checks be introduced. This, the BGC argues, will diminish the revenue that the industry generates and in turn its contributions to the budget.

The BGC has reiterated the available industry data, citing that gambling in the UK creates 110,000 jobs on the high street and the economy is receiving contributions to the tune of £7.1 billion from the gambling industry in terms of gross value-added contributions.

The White Paper, the BGC says, is expected within weeks now, and it should not fail to recognize the good that the industry does, the argument runs, and not act on bias. Instead, any regulation attempt should focus firmly on the available evidence and data. The BGC fears that being too restrictive against the sector would lead to a decline in the online regulated betting and gaming sector.

However, there will not be an overall drop in gambling – rather, players will turn to black market operations instead, the trade group said citing EY’s study. Even today, operators without the appropriate UK licenses continue to target people on the island, and some are viciously using tailored keywords such as “non Gamstop casinos” to target vulnerable and self-excluded players who are excluded due to a problem with their gambling.

The BGC further argues that countries that have tried to take a high-handed approach towards regulation have seen their own markets becoming greyer due to the increase in black market operations. According to the BGC, Norway’s unregulated gambling market accounts for 66% of all money staked. A similarly big percentage is available in France where the black market accounts for 57% of all operations.

Keep Gamblers at Home, Stop Illegal Gambling

Meanwhile, the share of illegal operations in Italy remains at 23% of the total gambling market. To avoid a similar scenario, the BGC advocates for laws that account for these dangers and ensure the “sustainable foundation” of the industry in the future. BGC CEO Michael Dugher reminded lawmakers of the strengths of the sector:

This is a sector that is ready to invest, on hard-pressed high streets through bookmakers, in tourism and hospitality through world-class casinos and online where our tech giant members are looking to increase the number of apprentices they hire.

BGC CEO Michael Dugher

There must be clarity on affordability checks, Dugher said, and that is down to the government to sort out. He reminded that offshore gambling websites lacked the necessary tools to protect consumers and that the UK should focus on keeping gamblers in the regulated markets.

Lead Editor

Mike made his mark on the industry at a young age as a consultant to companies that would grow to become regulators. Now he dedicates his weekdays to his new project a the lead editor of, aiming to educate the masses on the latest developments in the gambling circuit.

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