According to a survey from the U.K. Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), 71 percent of the British public believe health warnings would not stop problem gambling.
Furthermore, 47 percent say banning promotions such as free bets wouldn’t help problem gambling rates either.
The industry in the U.K. is waiting for a long-delayed white paper updating gambling regulation. Some fear the new legislation will contain draconian provisions that will make the industry less competitive against illegal providers.
The BGC survey found that only three percent of the U.K. public said health warnings would be “very effective,” while eight percent believed banning free bets is a solution.
“Problem gambling rates in the UK are low and have fallen, but still the anti-gambling lobby – prohibitionists who just want to ban things – are pushing for draconian measures which will only stigmatise those who enjoy a harmless flutter,” said BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher.
“Measures like these, however well meaning, will only serve to drive punters from the regulated sector to the unsafe, unregulated gambling black market where the numbers betting have doubled in recent years and the amount staked is in the billions.
“Anti-gambling prohibitionists are determined to treat betting like tobacco and to treat punters like smokers – but these two things are worlds apart and should be regulated entirely differently.”
The BGC said 0.3 percent of the U.K. population has a problem gambling issue, down from 0.4 percent the prior year.
It said about 22.5 million adults buy a lottery ticket, play bings, or participate in some other form of wagering.
The BGC survey was carried out by YouGov.