New Poll Shows Brits Unhappy with Mandatory Gambling Limits
A new poll in the UK shows that players are not a fan of possible mandatory gambling limits and it may lead to black market gambling.
No one really wants to be told what they can and cannot do. But unfortunately, we have to listen to others in several settings, including work, government officials, sometimes even people in our own family. When it comes to gambling in the UK, consideration is being given to setting mandatory limits on the activity. Apparently, British voters are not too keen on the idea and plan on using black market sites instead, so they are not told how to conduct their own entertainment.
London-based market research and data analysis firm YouGov recently conducted a poll of individuals in the UK. The poll was commissioned by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC). The BGC wanted to see how individuals felt about the gambling limits under consideration by the Gambling Commission. Should Parliament have a say so in how much a player can lose when gambling?
A total of 1,683 adults were surveyed. Of that number, 51% said they were opposed to the limits on how much one can gamble. A low 27% were in support of the measure. Around 59% of those surveyed said that if the government decides to create such limits, they will move to unlicensed sites. The black market would benefit greatly from the change in the UK legalized gambling sector.
Who Supports the Betting Limits?
Right now, the 2005 Gambling Act is under review by the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sports. The law is under review due to negative connotations associated with online gambling including financial loss and addiction.
As the law is under review, changes are being discussed, including the betting limits. The gambling industry as a whole is supportive of limits but not by the government. They feel that gamblers should be allowed to limit themselves.
Michael Dugher, the Executive Director of the BGC, said that limits ae good and people who wager are strongly encouraged to set a specific amount in which to spend. Affordability checks are also a good option. However, Dugher pointed out that the government does not need a say-so in how players gamble.
He pointed out that technology is used today that allows betting companies to see when a consumer is starting to show signs of gambling harm. They can then approach the player and helped as needed.
Others have pointed out the technological capabilities of the industry and how it can be used to protect players. Opponents of government-imposed limits feel that players who play responsibly would be subject to invasive auditing if the betting limits were set for them.
The issues that can arise can easily be seen via the fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) changes. The electronic gaming machines used to be throughout the UK. Then in 2019, it was decided that the maximum bet would go from £100 to just £2.
This huge dip caused many operators to shut down services. One the machines were shut down, players started to play online at illegal gambling sites. The bets doubled within the last year from £1.4 billion to £2.8 billion. This was a huge blow to the gambling community and a big win for the illegal operators.
If the government decides to step in and set betting limits on gambling activity, there is no doubt that players will shift to such sites again. This would not only harm the operators in the UK, but also put players at risk as they play at unlicensed and unregulated sites.
Hopefully, regulators, Parliament, and operators can find some common ground to protect players and avoid this shift from happening in the future, causing more harm than good.