BGC has issued a YouGov survey to determine how UK gamblers feel about the newly proposed betting limit. Out of all participants, more than half oppose the limit, even suggesting that they’ll resort to black-market gambling if too many limits are set on the average gambler.
59% of UK Gamblers Are Against Betting Caps
A YouGov poll issued by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) to ask UK gamblers whether they’re for or against a £100 cap on bets has produced interesting results. Out of the 1,683 participants in the survey, more than half, or 59%, said that they are against the motion, most of them even suggesting that if the government continued to issue limitations on gambling, they might move to black-market gambling.
BGC CEO Michael Dugher expressed his support for patrons to continue to make their own decisions on how much they want to spend on bets. Dugher urged the government to not “sleepwalk” into changes that might ultimately do more harm than good.
He also stated that he likes the idea of affordability checks but pointed out that current technology can detect problem gamblers, and as such, those people might be subject to more intensive affordability checks.
Dugher used horseracing as an example, a sport that relies mostly on bets made by gamblers. BGC has suggested that horseracing might lose more than £60m if such limits are set.
Black Market Gambling is on the Rise
BGC published data that shows that illegal gambling sites receive more than 27 million visits in a year, and this data further reinforces what Dugher and others are warning about.
Between 2018 and 2019, more than 200,000 people have used Black Market gambling sites and generated around £1.4 billion.
“Black market online operators are the modern-day internet equivalent of the ‘Peaky Blinders’ – dangerous, illegal backstreet bookies, run by organized crime,” Dugher said.
This is not the first time Dugher expressed his feelings on the matter. He previously has stated that overregulating the market that gives jobs to 100,000 people and contributes £3.2 billion a year to the UK’s Treasury could push people away from legal gambling sites.
The UK government should take all of the presented arguments into account before making any new decisions or passing legislation. Presently, the government is reviewing the gambling industry and establishing legislation, Gambling Act 2005.
The review is now headed by John Whittingdale, a figure with a mixed track record on gambling who opposed a FOBTs limit back in 2018 but has been known to take the side of consumers in most matters related to the industry.