Betting and Gaming Council, british government, horseracing, free bets

Betting and Gaming Council slams “draconian” free bets ban proposal

The British government is looking into a proposed ban on free bets as part of its review of the 2005 Gambling Act, soon to be published, but the Betting and Gaming Council (or BGC) is very loudly against the idea.

The BGC pointed to new data gathered by YouGov, which said that 69% of the bettors surveyed said that free bets should be allowed. And, worryingly, that they would consider moving to the black market to bet if a free bets ban was enforced.

What is the Betting and Gaming Council saying?

As the Betting and Gaming Council said in a statement: “Promotions and offers are part of the customer experience for any vibrant industry, including our intensely competitive sector, which supports 119,000 jobs and brings in £4.4bn in taxes to the treasury,” said Michael Dugher, chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council.

“A draconian ban would damage a sector which tens of thousands rely on for their livelihoods, by turning punters away from the regulated industry into the arms of unsafe, unregulated black-market gambling, where the numbers using such sites has doubled in recent years and the amount bet is in the billions. These sites have none of the safer gambling tools the regulated industry employ.”

“We support the government’s ‘evidence-led’ approach to gambling reform, which is why any changes should be carefully targeted to protect vulnerable players and those at risk, not the vast majority who bet safely,” continued Dugher. “Ministers shouldn’t be sticking their nose into how people choose to spend their own money, and the last thing they should be doing at this time is damaging business and sport.”

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