The UK has been a strong proponent for online casinos and virtual betting for over a decade now. Like plenty of other European countries, the UK prides itself on its online gambling industry and its alleged strong regulation of it, to ensure the safety of players everywhere. Nowadays, statistically speaking, British casinos are used as example of respected online gambling locales. According to the public, however, more needs to be done for them to deserve such accolades.
Results from the survey
YouGov is a highly respected data analytics and market research firm based in the United Kingdom. In the words of their own CEO YouGov’s “ambition is to supply a live stream of continuous, accurate data and insight into what people are thinking and doing all over the world, all of the time”.
The firm just recently performed a survey that proves that more than half of the avid gamblers that took part in it believe that online gambling operators in the UK do not actually care for the wellbeing of the players. Similarly, a great percentage of those polled also believe that new and more demanding protective measures should be put in place in their online casinos.
According to the data and results provided by the firm, the UK online gambling industry does not take the necessary precautions to stop players from taking on online bets too large for them to afford and handle responsibly. While autonomy and personal responsibility is still a factor, casinos are supposed to be held to a burden of high moral obligation.
Furthermore, players that took part of the poll believe that UK casinos are unlikely to actually take actions that better suit the gamblers’ need. This shows a clear lack of trust between the parties involved.
The Gambling Act of 2005
Let us now take a moment to explore what online gambling legislation has been set in place in the UK. This could help shine a light on the apparent perception that the government has not done enough to control online gambling in the British Isles. The major piece of legislation pertaining to this topic is The Gambling Act of 2005.
Said law is capable of restricting business from gambling locales that fail to act in a fair fashion, as well as providing the necessary licenses for gambling sites. Some politicians, however, believe that this act has failed to keep up with the times, focusing mostly on brick-and-mortar casinos and ignoring any virtual components.
Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party of the UK, has come forward this very year stating that modernizing the regulations in place is necessary in these modern times. As we saw from the results for the survey, the public apparently agrees with his assessment.
Thoughts about the future of UK online gambling
What, then, should we expect from the relation between UK gamblers and their online industry in the future? That still remains to be seen. Nonetheless, public perception so far does not paint the prettiest of pictures. The trust from players for their online casinos is essentially the backbone of the industry. It’s tantamount in its importance.
Without it, casinos (online or otherwise) cannot hope to reliably and sustainably continue to grow. While they might be making profits right now, this could change in the future if positive changes are not made soon. One can only hope that they correct their course, for the good of the entire market.
Sadly, gambling operators in this country seem to be set in their ways as they believe that stronger regulation would irreparably hurt their incomes. It seems pertinent to mention that we’ve recently published an article dealing with the rapid growth of the online casino industry in Denmark.
The example set by Denmark proves empirically that earning the trust of their player base and taking steps to ensure the wellbeing and safety of all players, does not necessarily get in the way of profits. Perhaps, the UK should set their sights on the gambling legislation set in Denmark as a way to improve the public’s trust in them.