The gambling industry is about to undergo a huge shakeup. By autumn 2019, the Association of British Bookmakers and the Remote Gambling Association should be no more. In their place will be the Betting and Gaming Council.
According to recent reports, we should expect the new Council to hold industry operators to the highest standards. While some players and participants may have fallen foul of certain operators in the past, it is hoped this will no longer be the case when the new body is active.
Who will lead the new Betting and Gaming Council?
Brigid Simmonds OBE is set to be the chair of the new body. She has extensive experience in several chairperson roles that should make her well suited to this new role.
Who is Brigid Simmonds?
Recent news reports have confirmed she is stepping down from her post as chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association. She has been in the post for the last 10 years.
She has also served on the boards of Sport England, the Tourism Alliance, and the Sport England Lottery Panel. She also has experience as a trustee for GambleAware, so she has previous knowledge of this part of the industry. She now has the chance to further her exploration of this area.
What are the advantages of setting up a Betting and Gaming Council?
Combining the roles of the two current bodies is challenging. However, there are advantages in doing so:
- Greater social responsibility – most people are aware gambling is risky. There is more chance to lose money than to win some. Improving the responsibility of gambling operators should improve others’ view of the industry.
- Better public image – some view gambling as a suspicious area. The BGC looks to make this more positive by holding members to account and to high standards of service.
- Better customer safety – no one wants to win cash from an online casino only to find they cannot access it. They also want to be sure their funds and information are safe.
- Better operational standards – being a member of the Council means upholding a code of conduct that has been specifically created for the Council. This should raise standards across the industry.
Will it be compulsory to join the Council?
It doesn’t appear so, but it is clear any operator without membership would be viewed as suspect. A gambling operator should be in possession of a UK licence to be considered. It’s easy to assume most operators would want membership as it would help them promote a safe and responsible service to their players and would-be players.
Once news of the Betting and Gaming Council becomes more widespread and the Council is up and running, we expect many popular sites will promote their membership of it. It would seem foolhardy not to.
Players should also become aware of its creation and of the importance of their casino’s membership of the Council. If you find your preferred sites are not members, you may wish to consider playing elsewhere.