There has been a lot of debate in the United Kingdom recently over casinos and casino gaming. The British government has endured a lot of ire from both players and watchdog agencies. In fact, both have been thorns in the sides of many casino operators. A recent study done by a London-based public opinion company seems to corroborate this. Citizens, even clients, of gambling operations in the United Kingdom don’t trust casino operators to act appropriately in their names. People do not believe that casinos are serious when it comes to looking out for their best interests. Instead, they believe the casinos are there only to make a profit.
The Recent Controversies
The gambling industry in the United Kingdom has had a controversial few years. One large controversy concerns fixed-odds betting terminals or FOBTs. The terminals, which are similar to video poker or video slot machines, allow players to bet a large amount of money in a short amount of time. The U.K. Gambling Commission decided to reduce the amount of money players could wager on each spin. In addition, it decreased the bet-per-spin total from £100 to £2 per spin. This made the gambling companies mad, but it also affected how much revenue the government received from the casinos.
In addition, the government submitted a proposal to increase the amount of taxes it would require gambling houses to pay. Not only would land-based gambling houses see a tax increase, but so would the online gambling houses. Some online casinos have threatened to pull their casinos out of the United Kingdom altogether. This would mean that the country would not get any revenue at all.
The data and public opinion company YouGov conducted a survey of British citizens. The U.K. Gambling Commission also helped with the research. The company questioned about 3,000 people, both online and via telephone, over the course of two months. Some of the participants were gamblers, while others did not gamble at all. The participant pool contained both men and women of different ethnicities. However, all were of the legal age to gamble.
The survey asked the participants many questions. One question asked whether the participants supported the lowering of the maximum amount wagered per spin on FOBTs. The participants were also asked if they thought the gambling companies were serious about ensuring all players are responsible gamblers. Another question was whether the participants supported limitations on gambling. These limitations would include the amount of spending allowed, the speed of betting, and the odds or stakes.
The results showed that an overwhelming majority of participants do not trust casino operators. About 70 percent of the people surveyed said that they do not trust casinos. It appeared from the results that consumers had more confidence in the land-based casinos than the online casinos. However, the U.K. Gaming Commission pointed out that online casino operators put safeguards in place to protect consumers.
There were also some interesting results. Only 9 percent of the participants said they opposed a reduction in the maximum stake of betting on FOBTs. About 19 percent of the respondents opposed limitations for betting in online casinos. Twenty-six percent of the respondents said they believed online casinos had truthful communication with their clients. The number of respondents who said they did not think casinos seriously promoted responsible gambling was 71 percent. Surprisingly, 80 percent of the respondents said the gambling industry needed more regulation, whether they are online or offline. Clearly, the survey has implications for the industry as a whole.
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