Two thirds of punters say spending limits on bets would spark black market boom
Two thirds of punters believe spending limits on betting would spark a dramatic rise in the gambling black market.
According to a new YouGov survey for the standards body Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), 67 per cent of people said that compulsory spending limits on gambling could drive more people to the unsafe, unregulated gambling black market.
Nearly 70 per cent of people who place a bet said they would not be willing to allow regulated firms to carry out compulsory affordability checks to prove they can afford to wager.
Compulsory checks have been a key argument by anti-gambling campaigners to tackle problem gambling.
The number of people gambling on unsafe black market sites in the UK has doubled from 220,000 to 460,000 in recent years and the amount staked is in the billions.
The latest figures from the Gambling Commission show the rate of problem gambling among adults remains low by international standards at 0.3 per cent, down from 0.4 the year previous.
Chief executive of the BGC Michael Dugher said that the YouGov polling was important for ministers to consider as they prepare to publish the gambling white paper, which continues to be pushed back.
“Any changes introduced by the Government must be carefully targeted so that we protect the vulnerable and intervene on those showing signs of harm, whilst not driving the vast majority of millions of punters who bet safely towards the growing unsafe black market online, where there are none of the safer gambling protections used by BGC members,” he said.
Regulated operators already intervene where customers are displaying signs of problem gambling or that they may be at risk.
The BGC is in favour of further enhanced spending checks but says the focus should be on problem gamblers or those at risk rather than everyone who bets.