Date: 17.01.2024

by Antoni Majewski

Betting and Gaming Council Urges Government to Implement Frictionless Financial Checks

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has called on the government to fulfill its promises regarding frictionless financial risk checks. This appeal comes in light of the upcoming Parliamentary debate on the matter, scheduled for February 26th, following a petition related to the Gambling Act White Paper surpassing 100,000 signatures.

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The Urgency for Frictionless Checks

The BGC has been a vocal advocate for seamless, enhanced spending checks online, particularly targeting individuals at risk or exhibiting signs of harmful gambling behavior. The Council emphasizes the need for swift interventions without impeding the experience of the majority who gamble safely and responsibly.

According to Michael Dugher, CEO of the Betting and Gaming Council, it is crucial that any enhanced spending checks online do not overly intrude on responsible gamblers. Dugher stresses the importance of checks being frictionless for the majority, to prevent driving them towards unregulated, black market online platforms, which lack the standards and protections offered by BGC members.

Potential Risks and Industry Contributions

The BGC has previously highlighted the risks associated with blanket, intrusive affordability checks, including the danger of pushing bettors towards the black market and the financial impact on sports like horse racing. The organization has collaborated with the Gambling Commission on a consultation regarding financial risk checks, with results still pending. Additionally, bookmakers contributed a record £384 million to horse racing in 2022, while the regulated betting and gaming industry added £7.1 billion to the economy and supported 110,000 jobs.

The Council, alongside the Jockey Club, which has been praised for its role in securing the parliamentary debate, advocates for a balanced approach in the gambling debate. The BGC cautions against overly restrictive measures that could harm major British sports and emphasizes the low percentage of problem gamblers in the adult population.

The Betting and Gaming Council’s call for frictionless financial risk checks highlights the need for a balanced regulatory approach in the gambling industry. The upcoming Parliamentary debate presents an opportunity for stakeholders to address the nuances of effective regulation while safeguarding the interests of both responsible gamblers and the broader sports and gaming ecosystem.

Our Comment on the Article

The BGC’s stance on implementing frictionless financial checks is a prudent move in the complex landscape of gambling regulation. Balancing player safety with the enjoyment of responsible gamblers is crucial in crafting effective policies.

The debate highlights the ongoing challenge of regulating the gambling industry in a way that protects vulnerable individuals without stifling the enjoyment of the majority or inadvertently encouraging the growth of a black market. It reflects a broader conversation about responsible gambling and the role of regulation in maintaining a healthy gambling ecosystem.