Not to be confused with the Bad Girls Club, the Betting and Gaming Council is an association for the betting and gaming world. Its job is to represent any companies that fall under the brackets of being an online gaming business, a casino or a betting shop. As a result, the organisation’s members come from the betting and gaming industry, though that doesn’t include lotteries.
The industry itself is worth over £14 billion to the British economy and employs more than 70,000 people, so it’s little wonder that those involved want to have a say in the sector. The BGC’s responsibility is to champion the standards set in the industry, as well as to make sure that customers can enjoy a safe experience when betting and gambling, so industry standards are set high.
The Betting and Gaming Council Explained
The Betting and Gaming Council’s main job is to set the standards that the gambling industry works to. The idea is to build trust in the organisation through the code of conduct that it puts forward and the codes of practice, which are designed to make sure that customers are able to have a fair, safe and enjoyable experience when they get involved with any sort of betting or gaming.
46% of the population of the United Kingdom gamble at least once a month, so ensuring that they’re able to do so in a safe and enjoyable manner is vital to the long-term health of the betting industry. With more than 70,000 people working in the gambling industry, it’s also important that they’re well represented. The breakdown sees about 50,000 working in betting, 13,000 in casinos and 10,000 working online.
With around 90% of all betting companies falling under the jurisdiction of the BGC, it’s vital that the organisation is seen as a body that stands up for the industry. The Betting & Gaming Council was formed in 2019 when the Remote Gambling Association and the Association of British Bookmakers merged. The RGA was itself formed out of the merger of Association of the Remote Gambling Operators and the Interactive Gaming, Gambling and Betting Association.
As you can no doubt tell from that list, virtually any body that has been involved in representing gambling interests are part of the BGC. The RGA was formed to represent online gambling voices, whilst the ABB represented bookmakers that were based more on land than online. The idea behind the formation of the BGC was to give both sides of the industry the same voice when it came to legislation and setting standards.
Of course, at least part of the reason for the merger was the fact that the Association of British Bookmakers became less and less relevant as time past and the majority of bookies made more money from their online presence. There was always a chance that the two bodies would clash when trying to fight regulations and legislation. The betting industry realised that it would be best served by having a single voice.
What BGC Members Do
One of the chief issues in the world of betting is problem gambling, with the BGC deciding to put tackling that at the front and centre of its mission when it was formed. It was hoped that the public’s trust in the betting industry could be won back by combining the efforts of the majority of gambling firms. In order to give a specific framework to what they were trying to achieve, the BGC came up with a ‘Code Of Conduct’ for members.
The Code Of Conduct was created in order to ensure a strong standard for its members to work towards. Should a company be in breach of the Code Of Conduct, they will either find their membership of the Betting & Gaming Council suspended or terminated altogether. Whilst it is voluntary for companies to sign up with the BGC, it is obviously in their best interests to do so and therefore the vast majority do.
The BGC members are committed to funding programmes that support the National Strategy To Reduce Gambling Harms. As a result, members must contribute annually towards the Research, Education and Treatment programmes. This is in addition to the contributions towards the voluntary levy system that sees them paying at least 0.1% of their Gross Gambling Yield towards the National Responsible Gambling Strategy.
Members need to agree to comply with the Industry Group on Responsible Gambling’s Code for Social Responsible Advertising, as well as applying any guidance offered by the BGC. Problem gamblers need to have access to schemes that can block or limit their ability to access gaming and betting services, so BGC members have to ensure that such a thing is supplied.
BGC members also have to make sure that they participate in the gambling industry’s various self-exclusion schemes, which include GAMSTOP, MOSES and SENSE. They also need to take part in Responsible Gambling Week, which involves promoting a safer gambling tool standard. The protection of young people is also a top priority, so members have to commit to stopping under 18s getting access to sites or seeing adverts.
Even those aged between 18 and 24 should be given a culture of safe play when betting and gambling. In order to allow for better interventions for people that are struggling with the gambling, BGC members will seek to share information where possible. This will also allow them to fight against the problem of money laundering by nefarious parties. This includes adhering to the GAMLG standards.
The Betting & Gaming Council is looking to constantly improve, with members committing to the idea of adopting evidence-based practices wherever possible. This includes contributing to independent research carried out on the industry. The BGC also works closely with the United Kingdom Gambling Commission to ensure the best for all bettors that live and operate in the UK. As such, they work in line with the National Strategy, with research being carried out independently wherever and whenever possible.