suspicious man using a laptop

Various public opinion surveys in the UK agree that most people don’t trust gambling firms.

There are more than a few reasons why the gamblers are keeping a wary eye on online casinos, too. Some of them include:

  1. Myths of a close relation between casinos and criminals
  2. Stories of rogue casinos and their unfair practices
  3. Problem gambling and addictive behaviour in some gamblers
  4. Recent failures in protecting the addicts and other vulnerable groups

You can read more about each argument at the bottom of this post. 👇🏽

Before that, though, we’d like you to check out the survey data regarding public views on the gambling industry. There are some interesting parallels waiting to be discovered.

Public Polls on Gambling: Comparison

Back in February, the UK Gambling Commission has published an annual report of gambling behaviour and attitudes.

There were many interesting statistics in it, including the percentage of people trusting the gambling industry. More specifically, only 30% of people trust the notion that online gambling is conducted fairly.

The newest public poll from YouGov supports this data. It’s been just released in May 2019 and it depicts very similar statistics:

YouGov’s Survey on UK Gambling Public Opinion

 

yougov what the world thinks logo

The decrease of the maximum bet available at a fixed-odds betting terminal

Support: 85%Oppose: 9%

How serious are gambling companies when they say they want people to gamble responsibly?

Serious: 26%Not Serious: 71%

Limits to spend, stakes and speed of online bets to prevent large bets in rapid succession

Support: 74%Oppose: 19%

🔖 – You can find more data from this poll here.

This new data reveals that 7 out of 10 gamblers think that casinos only pretend to be socially responsible. Knowing this, it’s not surprising that the same people support new gambling limits.

This applies to both the FOBT maximum bet decrease and the recent propositions to introduce similar limits to online games. The latter propositions met twice as much opposition but even so, only 1 in 5 gamblers would oppose it.

Naturally, this would prevent people from spending lots of money gambling and diminish the casino operators’ profits. When one believes that casinos only wish to rob their players of their money, though, it’s the best possible solution.

The UKGC Data on Gambling Perception & Attitude

gambling commission logo
In the UK, gambling is conducted fairly and can be trusted
Agree: 30%
Gambling is associated with criminal activity in the UK
Agree: 38%
Gambling is dangerous for family life
Agree: 71%
Gambling should be discouraged
Agree: 58%
It would be better if gambling was banned altogether
Agree: 25%
On balance, gambling is good for society
Agree: 13%

This information is roughly one year older than the one provided by YouGov. However, it reveals a very similar picture. Only 3 out of 10 people trust gambling operators to be fair.

This leaves the remaining 7 with doubts, to say the least. Not only that, almost 4 in 10 associate casinos with criminal activity.

This has led the majority of people in the UK to say that gambling should be discouraged. One in four went so far as to say that this form of entertainment should be banned entirely.

Trust at All-Time Low

The casino industry has never been the most trusted sector by the general populace. However, about half the people didn’t think anything bad of it until 2013.

Since 2013 to 2018, the trustworthiness index dropped from 50% to 30% according to the Gambling Commission. Moreover, the trends are suggesting that this decline will continue unless something changes.

picture of staircase leading down

The government-initiated stricter regulations might improve the industry’s reputation.

With spending limits online and offline, fewer people can be severely harmed. It doesn’t matter if it’s their own addiction or unfair treatment at the hands of the casinos themselves.

Since it will be physically impossible to spend your whole fortune in a single evening, most players should feel safer. That’s exactly what is needed to change the current public views on this controversial topic.

Causes of Public Suspicion 🤨

“But why is everyone so concerned in the first place?” you may ask. While it’s a simple question, it has no straightforward answer. There are many causes which, when combined, resulted in massive levels of distrust.

1. Popular Myths

The simplest example could be the popular myth of ties between casinos and criminals or even mafia. The movie industry has contributed to this myth with James Bond, Oceans 11 and similar movies.

2. Stories of Rogue Casinos

Likewise, we hear stories of unfair casinos from real life. How many times have you heard of a land-based venue that didn’t pay out a jackpot due to “machine malfunction”?

If you’ve been following gambling industry news as we do, you must know this isn’t such a rare occasion. Online gamblers encounter similar issues with various operators not allowing to withdraw, often due to “security reasons”. 

security cameras on a wall

We’re not saying that all such occurrences are examples of unfair treatment, but some of them most probably are.

3. Problem Gambling

It’s no secret that problem gambling is a big issue in the UK. 0.7% of the country’s residents are actual or potential gambling addicts.

This may seem like a small number. However, the harm a gambling addict can cause to themselves and their families is huge. For this reason, many people blame the casinos themselves. 

4. Recent Failures in Protecting Vulnerable Groups

In some ways, casinos are indeed guilty. It’s their job to protect gambling addicts and minors from playing casino games, according to the UK’s laws.

Unfortunately, there have been many failures on that regard. We have actually covered many of them in our blog. This included children exposure to gambling ads, ineffective problem gambling support and more.

Naturally, such failures have caused further trouble among irresponsible gamblers or those who aren’t allowed casino entertainment. With such news in recent months, the trust in the gambling sector has been dropping even further.

What Do People Forget?

balance scale in a large room

Casinos aren’t always so bad – a fact that 70% of people might have forgotten. Although it has its issues, the gambling industry gives back to society too.

Even the companies that operate casinos for profit (most of them do so) can be positive too. They:

  1. Generate huge income to the country’s coffers
  2. Donate money to charities and funds
  3. Support and promote various organizations, especially sports clubs and events
  4. Offer an exciting pastime activity for every responsible adult

So, although most people don’t trust the gambling firms, not all of them deserve the notoriety. Unfortunately, there will always be some bad apples to spoil the barrel.

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