Where is the UK Betting Market Headed?


Betting is an industry much like no other. It is constantly changing and undergoing new reforms, as we try to better understand betting’s place in society. In the UK, that is just as true as anywhere else. In the coming years, we can expect to see a lot of changes to the industry in terms of regulation. At this point, the UK betting market seems headed into a particularly different place that it is now. 

Let’s look at a few of the biggest ways this is going to take place. 

  • Marketing 

One of the areas that has been under the greatest scrutiny from regulators over the years is how the betting industry uses adverts and marketing. The rules, though vague, have for a long time suggested that operators must only market in a socially responsible way. How operators can interpret that is becoming narrower, and the regular addition of new betting companies as seen through sites like shows how lucrative this model is for them.

During televised football matches, in big games such as Premier League games, viewers can be exposed to a betting advert roughly once every ten seconds. This can be a recorded ad, or simply a banner on the side of the stadium. 

This is bound to have wide-reaching social impact. Those who watch these games are not all potential bettors. Future regulations seek to reduce this impact and take the UK betting market to a place where it is less free to advertise so brazenly and with such frequency. 

  • Limits on stakes 

In more recent years, another area of close scrutiny has been high-stakes betting. Problem gambling is a significant issue in the UK, with around 2.2 million people at risk of addiction from gambling, or are active problem gamblers. These people are at serious risk from fixed odds, high stakes betting of any kind. 

While there are already limits on the stakes in physical betting shops and casinos, the online betting market is to be brought under these same standards in the coming years. This would mean stake limits of around £2 for a lot of fixed odds games, and £100 for others. 

  • Sponsorships 

With betting ads so astoundingly common in Premier League and EDL football matches, the regulators always have a close eye on the industry. As things stand today, just under half of all teams in the Premier League are sponsored by betting companies. 

The market may be headed to a place where these kinds of partnerships are not allowed. This is another change aimed at decreasing the impact of betting advertising on children.

With young people looking up to football stars, endorsements of betting companies can have a huge influence on their view of betting in general. 

  • Special guest status 

Finally, we might broadly say the market is headed towards various solutions to problem gambling. Many betting operators offer VIP status to some customers, particularly loyal customers. There are many incentives for this, such as free bets. 

In the near future, it’s going to be a requirement of operators to have an intimate knowledge of the VIP’s financial status. The operator will be responsible for ensuring they are not encouraging a problem gambler to continue gambling to their own detriment. 

This is bound to be a positive change, and puts greater pressure on operators to act responsibly. 

Plainly, then, there is a big shakeup coming for the UK betting market. How exactly this will impact players is difficult to say at this point, and clearly the regulation is broadly aimed at improving the safety of the consume in the betting market. But that doesn’t mean that the changes will always be welcome. At this point, only time will tell. 

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