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BGC: Punters fear betting restrictions will drive black market play

| By Dan Kleiner
A study by YouGov for the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has revealed British players’ fear of fuelling the black market, should gambling restrictions be increased.

The survey found that 79% of British punters said that it was likely increased restrictions would push people towards unregulated websites, where there are no limits or oversights on gaming activities.

In another question on the YouGov survey, 70% of players said that they would consider switching to a different bookmaker if asked to provide “private financial documents” in order to place bets.

Michael Dugher, CEO of the BGC, believes the data shows how misaligned punters are from those in charge of gambling regulations.

“This research is the latest in a series outlining the genuine concerns of millions of ordinary punters who feel that the people making decisions about the future of betting are out of touch and have never had a bet in their lives,” said Dugher.

The right changes

Dugher went on to explain what changes he would like to see.

“We want to see genuinely non-intrusive checks, which use technology to carefully target and protect the tiny minority of vulnerable punters, but intrusive, blanket, low level so-called ‘affordability’ checks will be universally rejected by punters,” he said.

“Any intrusive and blanket approach risks having the opposite effect by pushing them into the unsafe, unregulated black market which offers no safer gambling tools like time outs and deposit limits. It also doesn’t support the economy or sport and doesn’t pay a penny in tax.

“Ministers should listen to the millions of punters enjoying Cheltenham rather than pander to a naive and snobbish minority of anti-gambling prohibitionists,” Dugher concluded.

The survey was conducted ahead of the government’s expected publication of the Gambling Act white paper, which will set out new reforms for betting and gaming in the UK.

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