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BGC: 71% of British public say Government health messaging wouldn’t tackle problem gambling

A total of 71% of the British public believe Government health messaging would be ineffective at preventing problem gambling, according to a new survey from the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC).

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Such compulsory health warnings are already used on cigarettes.

Moreover, 47% believe banning popular promotions such as free bets would not help counter problem gambling either. Both health warnings and the banning of such promotions have been proposed by anti-gambling groups as some of the ways to tackle problem gambling.

The survey, conducted by YouGov for the BGC, found that 3% of the public think enforcing compulsory health warnings on betting products would be ‘very effective,’ with 8% saying banning free bets would be ‘very effective at preventing problem gambling.’

The BGC noted that around 22.5 million UK adults buy a lottery ticket, play bingo, place a bet in a casino, have a wager on sports or play online games.

“Problem gambling rates in the UK are low and have fallen, but still the anti-gambling lobby – prohibitionists who just want to ban things – are pushing for draconian measures which will only stigmatise those who enjoy a harmless flutter,” said BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher.

“Measures like these, however well meaning, will only serve to drive punters from the regulated sector to the unsafe, unregulated gambling black market where the numbers betting have doubled in recent years and the amount staked is in the billions.

“Anti-gambling prohibitionists are determined to treat betting like tobacco and to treat punters like smokers – but these two things are worlds apart and should be regulated entirely differently.”

Last week, the BGC claimed that the FIFA World Cup 2022 has entrenched the views of anti-gamblersThe BGC said betting on the World Cup is normal for some people, but added that the tournament has “sparked baseless allegations against those who bet and betting operators.”

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