In the latest SBC Podcast I am joined by two expert guests – Abbie McGregor and Andrew Woodman – to discuss the formation of the Gamblers Consumer Forum (GCF) – a new ‘Punters Union’ they have setup to represent the majority that bet and the issues that matter to us.
These issues include pushing back against the affordability and deposit limits that impact all bettors and many of the other queries raised by the recent Gambling White Paper and its proposals for the future of betting in the UK.
The GCF launched on Thursday at the very first SmartBash, with Abbie and Andrew presenting new ideas, research and practical solutions to make gambling better for all punters.
In this chat, we cover everything from the reason for the group’s formation to the key battlegrounds for debate in the public arena.
An in-depth chat with representatives from this essential new body
In this episode Abbie, Andrew and I discuss:
- Why the Gamblers Consumer Forum has been set up and what its main objectives are
- The forum’s independence from outside influences
- Countering the anti-gambling narrative
- How the body will be funded and who it will represent
- Science, data and how this will be central to how the forum will lobby decision makers and debate in public
- Academia’s role in forming the White Paper and how their ideas are neither practical or useful
- The nature of addiction and why a blanket approach will not work
- Why clinical specialists are best placed to help those who struggle to control their gambling
- The black market, its prevalence and why its growth could be an unintended consequence of current proposals
- The questionable decision to entrust bookmakers with identifying and helping problem gamblers
- ‘Frictionless checks’ and how useful (or not) they are
- How (and why) gambling is treated differently to other similar activities
- Failures of regulation, disingenuous research and how confirmation bias can be blamed for the thinking of some key stakeholders in the industry
- The Gambling Commission, its weaknesses and how it could be improved upon
- Lessons that can be learnt from debating organisations like Animal Rising
- GCF’s plans and the support that they are asking for
Abbie and Andrew are great representatives to get a positive message about gambling across and it was fascinating to hear their ideas.
Both of them love betting, both understand the industry, are excellent debaters and between them, they have expertise in science and politics that can present a practical and sensible set of proposals for how we move forward.
I enjoyed this chat and it gave me hope that this argument can be won – I hope that you feel the same after listening!
The Gamblers Consumer Forum can be followed on Twitter at @GamblersCForum and their website, which will act as the main hub for information and news, will be launched later this week.