BGC: World Cup has “increased gambling misconceptions”

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) claims that the FIFA World Cup 2022 has entrenched the views of anti-gamblers.  

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The BGC says betting on the World Cup is normal for some people, but adds that the tournament has “sparked baseless allegations against those who bet and betting operators.” 

Authored by BGC Chairman Brigid Simmonds OBE, the article accuses anti-gaming lobbyists of being backed by poorly informed commentators, who claw at “extreme reasons” to substantiate the gambling harm the World Cup will cause. 

Simmonds cites statistics from an assessment of betting in the UK by an independent regulator, saying that despite 22.5 million adults either placing a bet, playing the lottery or gaming online, the rate of problem gambling in the country only stands at 0.3%. 

She adds that the rates of problem gambling have been decreasing, despite the financial difficulties brought on by the cost-of-living crisis and the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.  

The World Cup, in the eyes of Simmonds and the BGC, should not pose a problem in its promotion of gambling following the introduction of a Whistle to Whistle ban, preventing betting advertising during live football or before the watershed.  

The BGC claims this reduced the number of children seeing betting ads by 97%. It adds that this law also decreased the number of betting ads during Euro 2020 by 47% compared to the previous World Cup in 2018.  

Around 20% of gambling advertising on TV and radio is now committed to safer gambling messaging according to Simmonds. This is helped by a new age-gating rule on social media platforms, which restricts gambling ads to those aged 25 and over for most licensed sites operating in the UK market.  

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