Ahead of the upcoming release of the review of the Gambling Act in the UK, the single industry body representing the betting and gaming industry, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), unveiled details of a new study. On Wednesday, the Council released data regarding a study conducted by YouGov that probed into whether or not gamblers favor bonus offers and promotions such as “free bets.”
An overwhelming majority of the gamblers that participated in the recent study confirmed they liked such offers. When asked if gaming and betting companies “should be allowed to offer promotions such as free bets” to their clients, 82% of the respondents agreed.
Moreover, the new study sought to determine the impact of strict regulations on the gambling sector. When asked if a ban on promotions would benefit the black market, 54% of the participants of the survey said yes. According to those responders, tough restrictions that ban promotions are likely to drive some customers to black market operators that are not licensed, but offer promotions.
Michael Dugher, Betting and Gaming Council’s CEO, said that the results of the new study confirm that bettors look at gambling just like other products and they find it appealing to have special offers, even if that represents a small gesture like a free bet. Additionally, the CEO explained that the betting market is “hyper competitive” and there are clients that are using multiple operators.
“This survey reinforces what anyone who knows anything about betting already understands – that betting customers, just like consumers of any other product, value offers like small free bets which are subject to strict controls and restrictions to protect the vulnerable.“
Michael Dugher, CEO of the Betting and Gaming Council
According to Dugher, it is clear that restricting offers such as free bets or banning them altogether is likely to negatively impact the experience for the punters. This, in turn, can also jeopardize jobs and hurt businesses, he said. Finally, Dugher said that the study reaffirms that banning gambling promotional offers will likely drive customers to the black market that doesn’t offer any protection.
The results of the new study are not surprising, considering that the BGC has previously voiced its concern with proposals calling for tough restrictions. In fact, recently, the Council unveiled data from another probe that found that 79% of gamblers feared that strict rules for the gambling sector are likely to push people to the black market.