For most people, it is common to link the UK Gambling Commission with the regulation and overseeing of the gambling industry in the UK. Most of us have heard of the regulatory body and know various things that it does. Another body that operates within the field is the Betting & Gaming Council (BGC). Not as many people will be clued up on what the BGC is and what it provides to the industry.
That could be because it has only been active since 2019 and so is quite a young organisation. It does have a significant role to play, though. To put it in a simple way, the BGC operates as the single industry association representing online gaming businesses, casinos, and betting shops.
In total, it has around 90% of the betting companies under its jurisdiction. Its primary aim is to ensure the scene operates in a fair, safe and enjoyable way, as per industry standards. It also acts as a single voice for the industry.
Two Bodies Unite to Form the BGC
Back in 2005, two companies existed known as the Association of Remote Gambling Operators and the Interactive Gaming, Gambling and Betting Association. The two organisations opted to merge creating the Remote Gambling Association (RGA). The organisation based itself out of both London and Brussels, representing the interests of online gambling throughout Europe.
The idea behind the RGA was to serve as the single voice for the whole gambling industry, relating to things like legislation and the rules around regulation. There was a prime focus placed on representation for online businesses, considering that the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) represented the land-based companies. About 85% of the high street bookmakers were part of the ABB, which ensured integrity and safety within the scene.
With the passage of time, the ABB became less relevant, due to fewer bookies operating only in a land-based format. More had turned to online sites alongside, so the two organisations had a bit of a difficult time at this point. The RGA had a more powerful position, thanks to the fact that online betting had become much more popular.
Yet to make sure everything could be controlled in an appropriate way, it became clear that a single body was a better idea, instead of two separate ones. Thus, the ABB united with the RGA in 2019, forming the BGC.
Because of the sheer size of the gambling industry in the UK today (which employs over 100,000 people and is worth around £14 billion-a-year), it needs an organisation to represent its best interests. That’s where the BGC steps in. At the same time, the council is designed to ensure that punters have the very best experience possible when online and offline gambling.
Upon its formation, the BGC took aim at problem gambling across the United Kingdom. It stated that it was one of the chief issues haunting the industry, and it had a mindset of tackling it. To get ahead with such, it created a new Code of Conduct for its members to follow. Through this, it hoped the public would place more trust in the industry.
The BGC Uniting the Industry
Once the BGC launched under its official name, the announcement was made about the organisation working closely with those companies in the UK betting industry. That means it works, without a doubt, alongside the regulatory body, the UK Gambling Commission. The BGC also stated that it wanted to create a nationwide approach towards combatting problem gambling.
As well as that, the council said it would work closely with the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust. GamCare was another organisation that the BGC said it would unite with to tackle various issues. Around 90% of the gambling businesses operating in the UK are signed up to the GamCare organisation. Thus, the enforceable commitments laid out by the BGC were looked upon as being an ideal way to bring the industry together, promoting the main aim of responsible gambling.