BGC says change will come regardless of Gambling Act Review

  • Updated
  • By Hannah Timoney
BGC won't wait for gambling act review

In the iGB’s new Gambling Review podcast, Michael Dugher says that the BGC, the gambling industry standards body, will not “sit back and wait for a review” before implementing new social responsibility measures. This Gambling Act review was promised by Boris Johnson at the most recent election.

He cited the whistle-to-whistle ban, which came into effect just as the BGC was formed last year. Since this ban, the number of gambling advertisements seen by minors has been cut by 97%. Recently however, the ASA found gambling operators advertising online to children.

Dugher said that “it’s important that the gambling industry takes action itself.” In March, as the UK went into lockdown, the BGC made efforts to introduce new safeguards to players, including the BGC’s new ten-point player protection plan.

The former Labour MP added that this was part of the BGC’s wider effort to promote responsible gambling and promote higher standards within the industry, rather than being a simple representative of it. 

The industry has recently taken a beating in the public eye, and Dugher argued that at a time like this the BGC has a responsibility to communicate with parliament as well as stakeholders. He suggested that there are less vocal MPs, those who aren’t in the press often, who could play a large role in legislative review and reform. 

“I think it’s important that we engage with every MP. Most MPs don’t have particularly strong views on this but they may, from time to time, have issues their constituents have raised or concerns they want to discuss with us. It’s absolutely right and proper that the BGC engages with these MPs.”

He explains that the upcoming review is a necessary one which offers the chance to improve and develop upon protective measures. Dugher stressed also that the review must focus on both those with potentially problematic gambling behaviours, and those who enjoy the occasional bet at online casino sites

“We do have to make this review have a really big focus on problem gambling. It may only be a tiny minority of people who are problem gamblers but any person is one person too many. It’s a chance to tackle problem gambling and from the industry’s point of view we want to see some big changes.”

Dugher, as spokesperson for the BGC said that, “We should demand higher standards and if there’s operators who can’t meet those higher standards then they shouldn’t be in the business. I think I speak for all BGC members when I say that.”

New reforms in the gambling industry are constantly being brought in to help protect players from harm, and to promote responsible gambling. Do you think the BGC is doing enough to help players and to be socially responsible? Let us know over on our facebook and twitter pages!