UKGC Betting Cap Proposal

‘UK Citizens Vote Against UKGC Betting Restrictions!’ (image source: Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash)

The UKGC’s long running ‘Safer Gambling’ program is laying down new ground rules to reduce the risk of problem gambling with many of the recent changes put forward welcomed.

However, which hunts in certain areas were always on the cards. One of those witch hunts is meeting stiff criticism from the UK public that may force the UKGC to weigh up how the authority is seen in the eyes of the public. The main tussle, reading between the lines, it whether the respected gambling authority becomes viewed as a dictatorship should it nonchalantly move forward with plans that involve limiting people’s freedom of choice or free will.

Ultimately, The area in question is the proposal to restrict the cash amounts casino players and sports betting enthusiasts can bet per month, i.e., a cap that tells people how much they can spend of ‘their‘ hard-earned cash’ at online gambling establishments.

The scheme’s idea is to limit UK citizens to a £100 loss limit. I highly regard this as a fairy-tale figure being touted by some reports, and even the UKGC itself, following the licensing authority’s capped betting policy development.

Yet the UKGC authority may enter dangerous grounds going ahead with such a brazen move after a recent poll suggesting the idea is more than an unpopular one.

The issue first arose in mid-January this year. It is one that resulted in quite a stir from both online casino and sportsbook operators who appear to have strong backing from the British public.

Twitter Comments: Even when the UKGC Tweets information unrelated to the plans to cap gambling amounts per month, comments on the subject appear regularly reverberating people’s annoyance that the ‘bet capping limit’ plan is even being considered. Most of those comments mention the term ‘dictatorship’ or words to that effect!

UK Citizens Already Reasonably Supportive of Other Measures Put In Place

UK citizens are all for safer gambling regulations, even when that means taking away the auto-play feature built into both virtual slots, table games, and some live casino table games.

For most, it is no big deal and seen as a small sacrifice to make. The consensus is that if auto-play is responsible for some gamblers betting above their means resulting in potential financial difficulties, losing a couple of convenient game features is a small price to pay if it helps. Especially since auto-play does not wholly affect gameplay. Most feel that letting a rule remove such a trivia feature slide with no complaints is just responsible gamblers doing their part to keep the industry a reputable and safer one.

However, it seems the UKGC is crossing a line with betting caps—especially since some rumours suggest a ridiculously low threshold of £100, albeit the suggested low cap is more likely the very worst-case scenario. Nonetheless, there are larger issues at play causing an undercurrent that could boil over and blow up in the UKGC’s face!

Poll Confirms British Public Are Against Mandatory Bet Limits

A poll conducted by BGC has revealed British citizens strongly believe that the government has no right to exercise power over people’s freedom to decide how much they should be allowed to bet online.

In a YouGov survey, the same opinion overwhelmingly voted against a cap. The entire survey attracted the opinions of a small sample of people with a little over 1,600 people taking part to give their view on the matter. Only 27% of those that took the time to answer the poll were in favour.

The same poll commissioned by the Betting and Gaming Council containing multiple questions purposely designed to narrow down segments of some questions also came out with another interesting statistic.

59% of UK adults are in the opinion that should the government place heavy restrictions on the amount people can bet, it would further fuel the growing issue of black-market gambling.

Perhaps if the UKGC took a more diplomatic approach with its numbers, the results may change. At the moment the suggestion is that if a sports betting or online casino member loses £100, that’s their lot for the month. Maybe £1000 would swing the results further back into the UKGC’s desired outcome, which we assume is a higher percentage supporting their ambitions.

Meanwhile, the plan leads to questions relating to the disparity of people’s wealth. Should someone that earns £1,000 a week or £100,000 a year have such a limit imposed? These are clearly groups that can likely afford far more than the proposed £100 per month loss limit.

Although nothing is set in stone, it seems the UKGC will need to rethink how the organisation approaches this issue. For one, currently there seem to be no variables included in the plan. Yet, we are in the early stages of this possible limitation and variables may change after preliminary polls provide the UKGC with less than favourable initial data to assess!

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