BGC: Low problem gambling rates should be a “warning to ministers”

| By Laura Gumbrell
UK industry body the Betting and Gaming Council urged the government to avoid undoing industry progress after surveys found that problem gambling rates reached just 0.2%.
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The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) have announced that the drop recorded by the Gambling Commission showed that the rate of problem gambling reached statistically 0.2% while the moderate and low risk rates are also stable at 0.9% and 1.4% respectively.

While this problem gambling figure was lower than in the previous edition of the survey, the Commission said the difference was not statistically significant.

BGC chief executive Michael Dugher said: “These newly released figures are further evidence of that positive progress and underline our calls for ministers to take a genuinely evidence-based approach to the upcoming White Paper and not pander to the anti-gambling lobby.

“These latest figures showing that problem gambling is falling once again will no doubt come as a profound disappointment to anti-gambling prohibitionists and it should be a warning to ministers to ensure future changes are carefully balanced, proportionate and targeted.

“Around 22.5 million adults in the UK bet each month and it is clear once again that the overwhelming majority do so perfectly safely and responsibly.

However, Dugher also noted that the progress is “set against the backdrop of increased use of black market sites in the UK”.

Dugher cited a PWC report, which found that black market play in the UK may have doubled over two years, while he also noted that countries with strict product restrictions such as France and Norway tend to have the highest levels of unlicensed play.

“The regulated betting and gaming industry is determined to promote safer gambling, unlike the unsafe, unregulated and growing online black market, which has none of the safeguards which are the norm among BGC members,” Dugher said.

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