A free bets ban could push one third of British gamblers on to illegal operators

free bets ban could push gamblers to illegal operators
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A ban on promotions such as free bets would push a third of UK bettors to the black market, the UK’s gambling trade body, the Betting & Gaming Council, has warned.


The message comes with the latest study from YouGov which found that 63 percent said promotions were a “valuable part of their hobby” and 69 percent of them thought promotions should be allowed. Crucially, nearly one in three customers (28 percent) said they would consider illegal betting sites “if ministers ignored their popularity and forced through a draconian ban.”

Michael Dugher, chief executive of the BGC, also said the policy would end up “sucking millions out of horse racing.”

“Promotions and offers are part of the customer experience for any vibrant industry, including our intensely competitive sector, which supports 119,000 jobs and brings in £4.4bn in taxes to the Treasury.”

“A draconian ban would damage a sector which tens of thousands rely on for their livelihoods, by turning punters away from the regulated industry into the arms of unsafe, unregulated black market gambling, where the numbers using such sites has doubled in recent years and the amount bet is in the billions,” he added. “These black market sites have none of the safer gambling tools the regulated industry employs.”

The policy would hit racing especially hard, reducing the levy paid by gaming firms by an estimated £5m. “The loss of punters to the unregulated black market would undoubtedly also hit other regulated funding for racing such as media rights and sponsorship,” Dugher added.

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