A new animation, ‘A Safer Bet,’ has been unveiled by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), wherein the gambling industry standards body highlights the safety record and economic contribution of the UK industry.
One of the safest in the world
The BGC claims in the video that the UK’s gambling industry is one of the safest in the world, and warns against government overregulation.
In particular, the BGC claims that the current analysis of the modern suitability of the 2005 Gambling Act by the government and the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) may have ‘unintended consequences’.
Betting operators have cited a new report by PwC, which reported that 200,000 customers in the United Kingdom staked about £ 1.4 billion with unregulated operators over a 12-month period between 2018 and 2019.
Illegal black betting markets
The BGC argues that increased regulation of the legal betting market in the United Kingdom could drive bettors towards illegal black betting markets that provide less security for potential problem gamblers, such as self-exclusion systems, age verification and spending tests, while betting on the controlled market remains ‘a safer bet.’
In addition, the animation illustrates the £ 8.7 billion added to the economy by the regulated sector, the £ 3.2 billion in tax payments and the 100,000 jobs it supports.
Also illustrated is the substantial support provided to different sports, such as the £ 350 million channelled by sponsorship, broadcast rights deals and betting levy into horse racing, as well as millions more for sports like football, darts, snooker and rugby league.
Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the BGC said: “As the standards body for the regulated industry, we have strongly welcomed the Gambling Review.
“However, it is vital that it does nothing to drive punters towards the illegal, online black market, which has none of the protections in place that the regulated industry does.
“This animation powerfully sets out the steps we have taken – and continue to take – on safer gambling, while also highlighting the immense contribution that the regulated industry makes to the economy and the country’s most popular sports. It clearly demonstrates that the regulated industry is a safer bet.”
Reform of the Gambling Act
Dugher recently argued that the UK’s reform of the Gambling Act needed to be motivated by reality not fiction, and highlighted how 0.5 percent of the adult population of the UK’s gambling addiction rate is comparatively low relative to international standards, an argument echoed in the BGC video, adding that the figure has remained constant for 20 years.
However, lawmakers have questioned the BGC’s reliance on the PwC study on the scale of illicit black market gambling.
Neil McArthur, Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission, accused the study of exaggerating the prevalence of black market betting sites and of not being competitive with the intelligence image.
Check out our new video on the Government’s Gambling Review, highlighting the threat posed by the illegal, online black market and why the regulated industry’s commitment to #SaferGambling makes it #ASaferBet pic.twitter.com/yXcFPR8LyJ— Betting and Gaming Council (@BetGameCouncil) January 18, 2021