According to research carried out in a joint YouGov-OLBG study, over 65% of British gamblers would be unwilling to provide affordability documents such as bank statements and payslips.
The survey, which involved a total of 1,007 respondents, was undertaken in an attempt to gain a clearer perspective of UK betting habits and attitudes, particularly with the government’s far-reaching ‘White Paper’ legislation expected imminently.
With stronger regulations on gambling companies and more stringent customer probes, one of the topics discussed in the study was the potential of mandatory affordability checks.
Despite the relatively small sample size, 65.4% of the bettors asked said they would be unwilling to supply payslips, bank statements or similar documents when prompted by gambling companies.
The percentages differed between groups, which were split into categories depending on their spending habits – those parting with less than £5 a month were the most unwilling at 75.5%, while the most group with the least worries were those who spent between £301 and £500 each month, with just over 50%.
It is also interesting to note that little over 16.2% of participants had actually provided proof of their affordability when asked by operators, while just under 30% of respondents admitted they had never been asked and would choose not to gamble if they were.
Concerns over pushing bettors towards unlicensed companies has often been a frequent topic of discussion in the lead up to the government’s announcement, and the OLBG study revealed around 0.9% switched over to such operators as a result of affordability questions, while 3.2% of participants said they would do the same if they had been asked.
OLBG chief executive Richard Moffat said upon publishing the findings: “There is a stark difference between those who have been asked and those who haven’t in terms of willingness.
“Many players reported either having already moved to a different licensed operator or being willing to do so over affordability checks.
“Therefore, there is now a big question mark over what might happen if affordability checks become mandatory and all licensed operators have to impose them at certain levels.”