BGC Looking To Go Further With Industry Standards

The Betting and Gaming Council says it looks forward to working on the upcoming Gambling Review with the government, as it tries to “go further” on industry standards in the race to the top.

The comments come in response to the Peers for Gambling Reform launch, with BGC CEO Michael Dugher re-emphasizing a willingness to accelerate reforms through betting and gaming.

The newly launched party, which comprises all parts of the House of Lords, will work in Parliament and with others to support the recommendations of the House of Lords Select Gambling Committee to ensure that government and the Gambling Commission take early steps to enact regulatory changes that are deemed appropriate.

Initially, a range of focus areas were drawn up by the party, stating that successful gambler affordability tests should be carried out to avoid damage, speed of play and stake limits for online gambling, the prohibition of direct marketing and all inducements and the end of sports sponsorship, the regulation of gambling for loot boxes and the reform of VIP systems.

Responding to the launch, Dugher said: “As the new standards body for the regulated sector, the BGC is committed to driving big changes in the regulated betting and gaming industry.

“It is important to remember that the vast majority of the nearly 30 million UK adults who enjoy an occasional flutter every year, either on the lottery, bingo, sports, casinos or gaming, do so perfectly safely.

“But one problem gambler is one too many and that is why – like the new peers’ group – we also support reform. It is also why we welcomed the House of Lords committee report into the social and economic impact of the gambling industry earlier this year.”

Adding: “Since being set up last year, the BGC have introduced a range of measures to ensure we are leading a race to the top on standards. These include cooling off periods on gaming machines, encouraging deposit limits, closing off VIP schemes to under-25s and massively increasing funding for research, education and treatment.

“At the start of the COVID lockdown, BGC members voluntarily removed all TV and radio advertising, and have agreed that at least 20 per cent of those ads will be safer gambling messages going forward.

“Our members also introduced the whistle to whistle ban on TV betting ads during live sports programmes, which has reduced the number seen by young people at those times by 97 per cent. And from 1 October, tough new measures will come into force to further prevent under-18s from being able to see betting adverts.

“We want to go further, however, and that is why we look forward to working with the Government on the forthcoming Gambling Review.”