Gambling affordability checks could drive betting underground

Thu 16 Dec 2021

More than 86% of respondents believe that enhanced affordability checks could drive betting underground, according to a survey of more than 2,000 Racing TV members.

The latest survey, which follows up on a similar report carried out at the start of the year, confirms that the prospect of the introduction of strict betting limits and/or enhanced affordability checks is a concern to many Racing TV members.

Among the most striking findings were that 93% said that it would be wrong for Government to be able to control the amount punters could spend on a single bet in a horse race. And more than 95% said that they would not be willing to share bank statements in order for bookmakers to determine a punter's affordability level for betting.

Racing TV has long made clear its concerns over the potential impact that future legislation might have upon the sport's finances as Government look to determine possible changes to the Gambling Act.

The Racing Post's Bruce Millington talks about his fears over the tightened restrictions on gambling

Martin Stevenson, CEO of Racing TV's parent company Racecourse Media Group, said: “The response to the Racing TV survey has demonstrated how concerned our members are about the restrictions of their personal freedoms in terms of how they choose to spend their leisure time and money. In addition, they don't see affordability checks and limits on staking, deposits and losses, all of which could be under review by the Government, as the right solution.

“While we are in full agreement with the objectives of protecting vulnerable individuals from gambling-related harm, any new legislation needs to be proportionate, targeted and evidence-based.

“If some of the restrictions under conisderation are left unchallenged, this could not only change the way people are allowed to enjoy betting and horseracing in a profound way, but leave lasting damage in terms of significantly reduced revenues to the sport, which is still coming to terms with the devastating effects of Covid 19.

“I’d like to thank all our members who took part in the survey, and we will ensure the results form a valuable part of Racing’s response to the Review.”

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