The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) in Britain is urging the government to uphold its obligations regarding seamless financial risk checks, following the news that a parliamentary debate will be held on this matter. The debate is set to take place on 26 February in response to a petition that gained over 100,000 signatures. The BGC has expressed its support for such measures as long as they do not negatively impact players who are not at risk of gambling harm.
The proposed measures include conducting detailed affordability checks on players who lose £1,000 in 24 hours or £2,000 over 90 days. Operators would also be required to perform checks on players with a monthly net loss exceeding £125 or £500 per year.
The BGC has reaffirmed its stance on this issue, stating that while enhanced spending checks for online gambling are necessary, they should be frictionless. BGC CEO Michael Dugher emphasized the government’s promise to Parliament that these checks would be seamless and called on them to fulfill this commitment.
Dugher stressed that players need to be protected, but not inconvenienced. He emphasized the importance of targeting checks on individuals who display signs of problem gambling or those at risk of harm, while ensuring that the checks remain frictionless for the majority of players. Dugher pointed out the need to avoid introducing checks that may drive punters to unsafe and unregulated black market online gambling sites.
The BGC’s statement comes as the organization announced that Brigid Simmonds will be stepping down as its chair in April, with Dugher set to replace her. Simmonds had been BGC chair since its establishment in 2019, overseeing efforts to represent the UK gambling industry. Upon taking over from Simmonds, Dugher will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the white paper.
The BGC emphasized the need for a proper pilot before any permanent changes are introduced. They also stated their collaboration with the Gambling Commission and the belief in finding a balance between improved checks and preserving the experiences of those who bet safely and responsibly.