The pandemic had a significant impact on the British betting industry in February 2020.
William Hill, the CEO, Ulrik Bengtsson, predicted how the growing crisis would affect his business.
Many sports were canceled in February. While revenue was down significantly, Bengtsson remained upbeat. There was no Grand National, no European Football Championship, no Wimbledon, and no retail betting in 2020.
Despite this, sales at William Hill fell just 16% to £1.32 billion. Looking at the online gaming industry as a whole, the net sports betting profit was £2.01 billion for the months from March to December 2020.
A report outlined a rise from opposition players from the British gambling industry, who claimed that British gambling laws were outdated.
Will Prochaska, CEO of the gambling-related harm charity, says live betting can pose a higher risk to gambling than ordinary pre-match products because of the play’s pace.
The most direct application of the Simmonds partnership is sponsorship, where the English Football League has warned restrictions can lead to a £40m loss for its members.
Prochaska is saying that the saturation of sponsorship and the damage that play can cause should be put to an end when it comes to the campaign Gambling with Lives’ Big Step.
“It is unnecessary to see this level of exposure to gambling, particularly among the young people,” he said.
Neil Banbury, General Manager of the UK at Kindred, argues that the sponsorship problems can be resolved if the operators show a commitment to the British market before an agreement is reached.
“Surely there’s plenty of sponsorships, but I don’t think that the solution is to eliminate it,” says Banbury. “
Furthermore, in a review on player interaction launched in November, the Gambling Commission proposed. It demanded how and when operators should interact with customers who may be at the greatest risk of experiencing harm.
That includes a proposed £100 “soft cap” on deposits, with customers unable to deposit any more than this figure in a month until they pass an affordability check.
Although Prochaska claims that there is a “debate to be had” on stake limits for all verticals. It also includes sports betting. Banbury claims that any absolute limits risk causing significant harm.
“When it comes to limits, there are still concerns about what extent, how they are introduced. And whether they are introduced on a blanket basis or for specific customers,” Banbury says.
“Limits can impede a consumer. They can be a hindrance in terms of damage,” she added
Later on, when operators address the proposed checks, a common concern is that a significant number of players will stop playing. At least within the licensing regime – after getting requests for documentation.
However, Sonny Cott, operations manager for beBettor, an affordability solutions provider, believes that these tests might be less invasive than many people think.
“One common misconception is that an affordability check would enable a customer to exchange susceptible financial details with an operator even at low levels of spend, thus disrupting the customer’s play,” he says.
Any changes to sports betting in the coming year, however, are likely to be overshadowed by broader changes in the world of online casinos.
Casino games, especially slots, have been a top priority for many reformers concerned that these are the products that cause the most harm.