The UK gaming industry disapproves of the recently proposed restrictive measures by the country’s MPs. The industry points out that such measures are unnecessary but also adds that the country’s market is already heavily regulated.
New Restrictive Gambling Measures Rejected by Industry
Earlier this week, additional restrictive measures on gambling were proposed by Members of Parliament (MPs) in the UK. A group of 50 MPs called for the shutdown of gambling advertising in the country. The proposed radical restrictions plan to stop VIP schemes, introduce a £2 online slots limit and implement new methods for controlling game design. The enhanced restrictions proposal comes nearly at the same time with the announcement of BGC members voluntarily donating up to $125 million in order to aid problem gambling in the UK. The gaming industry in the UK is worth some £11 billion. The newly proposed restrictive measures met the disapproval of the industry.
The Advertising Association deemed an advertising ban to be unnecessary. The association pointed out that there are methods of control in place already and such a ban can have a negative economic effect. Stephen Woodford, Advertising Association chief executive said that the current rules call for social responsibility of the gambling operators. Woodford continued by saying:
At this time, we believe a total ban is not necessary – such an action has wide implications, particularly for the support of sports across media channels, something enjoyed by millions of people right across the UK.“
BGC and UKGC Call for Safer Gambling Without Negative Consequences
A spokesperson for the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) said that the council is prepared to extend safer gambling standards. The spokesperson further noted that the council is prepared to work with the government on “their forthcoming review.” In addition, the BGC spokesperson commented that the gaming industry in the UK pays more than £3 billion in tax and supports over 100,000 jobs. Furthermore, the BGC said that restrictive measures that could drive people towards unsafe and unregulated markets must be avoided. The spokesperson did not miss to point out that the UK gaming market is already heavily regulated.
The restrictive measures offered by the MPs came along with a report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) deeming the UK Gambling Commission as “not fit for purpose.” The regulator disagreed with the statement and responded by saying: “We are committed to drastically reducing gambling harm and it is untrue to say that we are not fit for purpose.” The commission continued by saying that they are working on safer gambling. In addition, the commission pointed out that over the past two years, they had already enhanced player protection. The regulator implemented online interaction with customers as well as age and ID verification. Further to the response, the commission said:
Our recent work with the industry has seen strengthened online advertising rules to better protect vulnerable groups and later this week we will open a consultation on VIP practices.”
The regulator continued by saying that discussions regarding game design are planned to start soon. Furthermore, the commission pointed out that additional customer interaction are planned to be implemented in the near future.