The British Gaming Council stated that a report by the PWC reveals that more than 200000 players place stakes at unlicensed gambling operators. The reported number covered a period of 12 months between 2018 and 2019, with total stakes that amounted up to £1.4 billion. Overall, the unregulated market accounts for around 2.5% of all visits to online gambling websites. Such a percentage translates to 27 million visits. The report also shows that nearly one in 10 of all gambling-related search results were for unlicensed black market websites.
The BGC Warns About Tougher Restrictions and Rules and Fear of the Black Market
The United Government, through the UKGC, is embarking on its long-awaited gambling review. On the other hand, the BGC has warned that any extreme controls and restrictions on the licensed operators can backfire. They stated that it could lead customers to the unscrupulous, unlicensed black market that has looser restrictions. These black market operators do not abide by the tough restrictions that the regulated sector has to follow.
The Chief Executive of the British Gaming Council, Michael Dugher, had a lot to say on the matter. He stated that they welcome the gambling review. They believe that it is a great chance to drive more change to achieve a safer gambling experience for everyone. However, Michael Dugher added that the revealed figures of players in the black market show the danger of driving players into the black market. The black market offers a lot of services but with fewer protection measures than the regulated sector. The regulated gaming and betting industry employs more than 100,000 men and women, with 3.2 billion pounds a year in taxes. Therefore, he believes that the government should be cautious of doing anything that would endanger that.
He ended his comment by saying that millions of UK residents enjoy the occasional flutter. Whether they place bets on sports, the lottery, on bingo, or at UK casino games online, therefore, it is crucial to offer them a safe gambling environment. They also have to make that safe environment attractive to protect them from the black market.
The BGC’s History in Safe Gambling for UK Players
The British Gaming Council has implemented many safe gambling measures in the past few years. These measures include reducing underage and reducing gambling exposure to those who are not of legal age to gamble. They also implemented a new rule that prevents anyone under the age of 25 to partake in VIP schemes at online gambling venues.
On the other hand, the BGC also made it clear that the rates of problem gambling did not witness an increase over the last twenty years. Therefore, they believe that the UK government should focus on the issue of problem gamblers instead of discouraging those who are gambling safely. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the BGC does not support and welcome that gambling review. They only want to make sure it is evident-led and balanced, so it doesn’t push players into the black market.