More Than Half of Brits Are Against Betting Limits

March 11th, 2021 4.00pm

A recent poll commissioned by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) showed the majority of Brits were against the introduction of betting limits proposed by the government.

According to the research and analytic firm YouGov, only 27% of the UK residents supported the imposition of these measures, while 51% opposed the move.

Betting Limits Could Pose a Serious Problem

Whether these results can convince the authorities not to go forward with their plans remains to be seen. No matter what they decide, the proposed move could deal a blow to the country’s racing industry. Some estimates say it may lead to losses of £100 million on a yearly basis.

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has so far received more than 13,000 public submissions on the affordability checks. At the moment, the British gambling watchdog is analysing all of them, and once the process is completed, it will proceed with the next step.

The list of proposed regulatory changes includes setting a £100 limit on monthly losses for customers. Those who reach this limit will have to go through a financial verification. Only after they pass this verification will they be allowed to continue gambling. Now, the results of the survey say the majority of British residents are against these betting limits.

A total of 1,683 individuals took part in the poll. 22% of the participants said they didn’t have an opinion on the issue, which had caused a lot of controversy since the initial announcement. Experts fear that betting limits could drive British gamblers to move their gambling activities to unregulated operators. Around 59% agree with this statement, while only 10% believe the move won’t have a dire impact on the country’s gambling industry.

A Rise in Unregulated Wagering

Another report, recently published by PwC, revealed a rise in wagering on unregulated betting sites. According to available information, Brits wagered £2.8 billion on unregulated sites over the past year, representing a staggering increase of 100%.

However, some members of the industry support betting limits. Michael Dugher, the Betting and Gaming Council Chief Executive Officer, said he believed the proposed measures would be beneficial to both operators and players.

Dugher explained that using modern technology, gambling operators would be able to discover “markers of harm” with their customers. He also stated the introduction of affordability checks could help compulsive bettors and other problem gamblers. But Dugher is fully aware of the negative impact these measures could have on the horse racing industry, as it relies on the funds from betting levies.

Government Should Listen to Voters

The BGC commissioned another individual study on gambling. It was conducted by the researchers at Public First and involved twenty focus groups from different parts of England. The study showed that many UK residents saw gambling as a regular social activity.

In the meantime, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, & Sport (DCMS) reviews the existing Gambling Act, which has been in effect since 2005. Many focus groups believe the government will try to impose additional restrictions once the review is completed.

Dugher pointed out the government needs to listen to public opinion before making any other changes, especially as gamblers’ votes could be instrumental in deciding the outcome of the next election.

The BGC Chief Executive Officer said that voters from small seats were a bit tired of the government trying to run their lives, especially during the ongoing health crisis. He once again stated the BGC fully supported the review of the country’s Gambling Act but stressed the changes should be done right.

These limits could seriously harm the country’s horse racing industry.