Survey Says: UK Players Voice Resounding “No” to Parliamentary Play LimitsPublished March 22, 2021 by Lee R
Operator-supported solutions to the UK gambling review also require restructuring of the 2005 Laws: here's why.
A study informing the comprehensive UK gambling review provides a voice that has not been heard much in the debate: the players themselves.
The Player Preference Study
As commissioned by the pre-eminent trade group Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), London-headquartered market research and data analytics firm YouGov set out to indicate where Brits stood on whether Parliament should decide how much a UK player can lose on gambling per month.
Player Survey Responses
The results indicate that a slight majority of 51% of 1,683 British adults polled opposed allowing politicians to set arbitrary limits on the amount of money a person can gamble—and with only 27 percent coming out in direct support, while the larger majority indicated that further Parliamentary restrictions on play would drive players to wager at unlicensed, unregulated sites.
In other words, most UK players do not want the government to decide or intervene in how to protect them from addiction.
The Origin of the Review
The well-known review specifically originates from the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sports (DCMS), the government body specifically responsible for performing the exhaustive review of the UK's original 2005 Gambling Act that brought iGaming under regulation in the UK.
Gambling opponents are lobbying for affordability checks once an online gambler has lost £100 a month, in order to ensure all players are not gambling more than he can afford to lose.
BGC Chief's Solution
BGC Chief Executive Director Michael Dugher supports play limits, but does oppose the government deciding and imposing those limits, instead subscribing to the ability of in-house operator technology to conduct affordability checks:
“Limits are good, which is why people betting are strongly encouraged to set their own limits on how much they spend. Affordability checks are also a good thing. But technology enables betting companies to see where customers are starting to display what we call ‘markers of harm.'”
With the voice of the people against the government deciding how much they can play, Chief Dugher might have the ideal solution. However, auditing of some sort appears necessary to ensure the effectiveness and uniformity of affordability checks across all operators, so even those solutions require revamping of the 2005 Laws.