BGC: 67% of UK punters say spending limits risk black market rise

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) says two-thirds of punters believe "nanny state" spending limits on betting would spark a rise in black market gambling in the UK.

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Naturally, this is something the BGC continually emphasises as part of its lobbying efforts.

According to a new YouGov survey for the BGC, 67% of punters believe compulsory spending limits on betting risks driving more people to unregulated sites, with 64% saying the increased use of illegal sites would trigger a rise in problem gambling rates.

Moreover, almost 70% of people who bet say they would not be willing to allow regulated betting firms to carry out compulsory affordability checks to prove they can afford to wager. Such a scenario has been called for by anti-gambling campaigners.

The Government is expected to publish its White Paper on gambling reforms in the coming weeks.

The BGC noted that there are thousands of illegal gambling websites that do not adhere to the strict standards in the regulated sector, with illegal sites targeting problem gamblers, not carrying out strict ID and verification checks, and failing to offer safer gambling tools such as deposit limits and cooling-off periods.

“We strongly support the Gambling Review as a further opportunity to raise standards and promote safer gambling,” said BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher.

“Ministers have rightly always said it will be an evidence-led process, these poll findings are an important reminder of the risks of getting this wrong by introducing arbitrary blanket spending checks on anyone who likes a flutter.

“Any changes introduced by the Government must be carefully targeted so that we protect the vulnerable and intervene on those showing signs of harm, whilst not driving the vast majority of millions of punters who bet safely towards the growing unsafe black market online, where there are none of the safer gambling protections used by BGC members.”

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