The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the single industry body of the gaming and betting industry in the UK, released data from a new study that probed what may be the possible outcome of tight restrictions for the gambling market in the country.
The study, organized by YouGov for the BGC, uncovered that 79% of the gamblers feared that enhanced restrictions may result in people switching to unregulated, black-market gambling operators. Some 70% of the participants in the new study admitted that if they encounter a request for sharing “private financial documents” as a requirement to place a wager, they are likely to select a different bookmaker.
The Council reiterated data from a previous survey from RacingTV which uncovered that 15% out of 3,500 gamblers admitted that they knew someone who uses an unregulated online gambling company. The same study found that some 80% of the respondents disputed mandatory spending limits imposed by bookmakers.
Non-intrusive Gambling Checks Are Needed
BGC’s CEO, Michael Dugher, explained that the recent research by YouGov once again raises the concern that the proposed changes to the regulated gambling sector are pushed forward by people who haven’t wagered. At the same time, he said that the BGC supports “genuinely non-intrusive checks, which use technology to carefully target and protect the tiny minority of vulnerable punters.”
“This research is the latest in a series outlining the genuine concerns of millions of ordinary punters who feel that the people making decisions about the future of betting are out of touch and have never had a bet in their lives.“
Michael Dugher, CEO of the BGC
Dugher also acknowledged that blanket affordability checks and intrusive restrictions for the sector are likely to face fierce rejection by gamblers. Moreover, he warned that such efforts may even push gamblers to the unregulated, black-market operators that do not offer any safe gambling tools and do not pay taxes or support the economy.
“Ministers should listen to the millions of punters enjoying Cheltenham rather than pander to a naive and snobbish minority of anti-gambling prohibitionists,“
Data from the latest study emerged ahead of the biggest horseracing week, the Cheltenham Festival. Starting next week, the Festival is expected to see 280,000 attendees and generate some £274 million ($329.4 million) for the local economy. Keeping in mind the popularity of the event, during the four days of racing, some £1 billion ($1.2 billion) is expected to be wagered.