The Betting and Gaming Council in the United Kingdom has today issued warnings to the government on gambling affordability checks and changes.
This warning comes after a new poll revealed that just one in five bettors would be willing to allow strict affordability checks, which may include bank account and wage slip access.
A survey for the BGC by YouGov revealed that just 16 percent of those polled who partake in betting would allow the affordability checks that are being considered by the government as part of a Gambling legislation review.
On the flip-side, almost 60 percent of those polled said that they would be unwilling to allow ‘arbitrary blanket checks’ that have been suggested by anti-gambling campaigners, which may push punters towards black market betting sites.
The same poll revealed that bettors may be willing to use an unlicensed operator to avoid the government imposed affordability checks that may halt them placing bets.
According to reports, the survey also highlighted that a rise in problem gambling may occur in the event of an increase in black market gambling site usage.
Additionally, the BCG has stated that it is in favour of affordability checks but that the focus should be more targeted towards those with problem gambling signs than a blanket check on all bettors.
Furthermore, due to the results of the poll, it is apparent that there are dangers to the industry associated with blanket checks and that action may be more efficiently focused towards punters showing signs of gambling related problems.
Michael Dugher of the Betting and Gaming Council commented on the survey and the findings:
We strongly support the Gambling Review as a once in a generation opportunity to raise standards and promote safer gambling.
Ministers have said it will be an evidence-led process, and these findings are a wake up call showing the potential dangers of introducing blanket affordability checks on anyone who likes a flutter.
We believe that technology should be used to identify those showing signs of problem gambling so that swift interventions can take place.
According to the Gambling Commission, the rate of problem gambling fell from 0.6 per cent to 0.3 per cent in the 12 months to September last year. But one problem gambler is one too many.
Any changes introduced by the Government must be balanced so that they rightly protect the vulnerable while not driving the vast majority who bet safely and responsible towards the unsafe black market online, where there are none of the safer gambling measures which are used by BGC members.