The Betting and Gaming Council recently appealed to ministers in the United Kingdom to consider the interests of responsible bettors when deciding whether or not to criminalize bonuses and promotions. The BGC has expressed concerns that such a move could lead more gamblers into the unregulated market.
This follows a YouGov survey commissioned by the trade body, which showed that 82% of punters believe regulated gambling sites should be allowed to provide promotions. In addition, the survey shows that 54% think prohibiting promotions would likely force punters to illegal sites that offer such incentives.
The Betting and Gaming Council has actively opposed banning bonuses at online casinos and sportsbooks. Anti-gambling organizations in the UK have been calling on the UK Gambling Commission to impose stringent regulations or a complete ban on gambling promotions.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Betting and Gaming Council, Michael Dugher, declared that the YouGov survey supports the idea that gambling customers, similar to other buyers, value offers regulated to protect vulnerable people.
Dugher further commented that the betting market is very competitive, with most customers utilizing multiple online casino sites and sportsbooks. He warned that if free bets were to be banned or severely restricted, it would be detrimental to the customer experience and harm businesses, potentially leading to job losses.
In the coming weeks, the British government will introduce the gambling ‘White Paper’, with far-reaching gambling reforms. The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) is concerned that if they are too stringent, it could result in an uptick in black market activity. A survey of RacingTV members showed that almost 80% said they would not join gambling sites with mandatory spending limits.
“If promotions are restricted or banned, there’s only one place punters will go, that’s the growing, unsafe, unregulated gambling black market,” Dugher remarked.