Michael Dugher BGC

BGC: UK public doubt effectiveness of compulsory betting health warnings

Just three in 10 Britons believe that compulsory health warnings on betting products would be an effective measure, according to the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC).

Citing a YouGov study, the betting industry trade and standards association revealed that 71% of polled consumers felt that such practices, as seen on tobacco products, would be ineffective.

An additional 47% of participants stated that banning promotions such as free bets would have little-to-no impact on problem gambling rates, which the BGC noted have fallen to a record low of 0.3% in 2022. 

Michael Dugher, BGC Chief Executive, said: “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.

“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.”

The study is the second YouGov poll cited by the BGC in as many months after a previous survey indicated 67% of participants argued that compulsory spending limits would push customers towards unregulated operators.

The government’s review of the 2005 Gambling Act, which began two years ago, has been due for finalisation for much of this year. Paul Scully MP – the latest Gambling Minister – stated in early November that the White Paper publication was imminent.

Now that the Online Safety Bill has been published and is in the early processes of legislative approval, and with parliament due for recess, the White Paper could be expected in the first few months of the New Year.

With regulatory changes potentially on the horizon, the BGC has reiterated its arguments over the last few weeks that the review and legislators’ opinions should be informed by evidence and ‘common sense.

SBC News BGC: UK public doubt effectiveness of compulsory betting health warnings

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