BGC Clarifies Safe Gambling Measures Amid NHS Concerns

The Betting and Gaming Council has said it is pleased to meet with NHS Mental Health Manager Claire Murdoch to discuss her concerns about UK gaming rates for disorders.

In a letter to the BGC, Murdoch called for a ban on promotions like free bets, VIP events, and bet-to-view sports streaming to curb what she called a’ vicious cycle of gambling.’

Murdoch said: “I am concerned about offering people who are losing vast sums of money… free tickets, VIP experiences, and free bets, all proactively prompt people back into the vicious gambling cycle which many want to escape.”

“The gambling industry has a responsibility to prevent the occasional flutter turning into a dangerous habit. The links between the sporting industry and gambling are deeply disturbing, and the tactics used by some firms are shameful.

“It is high time sporting bodies get back to their roots and start focusing on fans and families enjoying watching their heroes play, rather than allowing firms to hijack sport in pursuit of profit.”

Nevertheless, the BGC reaffirmed that it continues to “incredibly seriously” take its customer care obligation and remains committed to making gambling safer.

BGC Chair Brigid Simmonds OBE responded with: “The points that you raise are important.

“Just some of the work our members have already done includes new age-verification checks, increased funding for research, education and treatment, introduced a whistle-to-whistle ban on gambling advertising, worked together as an industry to create GAMSTOP which will now be mandatory for all operators, created monitoring algorithms to monitor play both online and in retail to help identify those at risk of harmful play and just last week waived exclusivity on FA Cup games.”

In addition to upholding healthier standards for gambling, Simmonds announced that the BGC was also creating tests on affordability, AdTech blocking ads, and calling for search engines to block advertising from non-UK licenced operators using words for aid search.

“We have also announced Safer Gambling Commitments which represent a set of measures to deliver long-term and fundamental changes in how gambling companies are run in the UK and how they empower, protect and support their customers.

“The five core safer gambling Commitments are targeted to: Prevent underage gambling and protect young people; Increase support for treatment of gambling harm; Strengthen and expand codes of practice for advertising and marketing; Protect and empower our customers and; Promote a culture of safer gambling.

“We are currently working with a range of stakeholders on safer gambling initiatives therefore it would be good to understand in greater detail your experience, knowledge and concerns and how we may address them.”