The affordability checks debate continues to rumble with many horse racing and UK bettors angered at the proposed investigations into the financial clout of their players before allowing them to place bets.
As a result, Nevin Truesdale, the Chief Executive of the Jockey Club, got a petition started on the UK government website that has already amassed over 70,000 signature and growing by the day.
You can keep up to date with the results here, or sign if you want to.
Racing stakeholders, that include the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), have made it clear they would be strongly against such checks, with many leading horse racing jockey and trainers, including Nicky Henderson, also opposing the idea publicly.
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is still in the process of reviewing White Paper responses to customer ‘unintrusive checks’ on spend levels of £125 net losses within a month or £500 over a year.
If given the green light this will allow the Commission to order checks at even higher levels of spend – rumoured to be between £1,000 in a day or £2,000 over a 3 month period.
There are also talks of increasing the level of checks towards younger bettors between the ages of 18-24.
The BHA and the wider horse racing community in general are warning the Commission that these checks will have a ‘catastrophic’ outcome on sports like horse racing that relies heavily on betting for funding – with figures in the region of a £250m downturn being suggested over the next five years.
Horse Racing Contributes £4bn Annually To UK Economy
British horse racing adds around £4bn a year to the UK’s economy and also has 85,000 jobs linked to it, which would all be impacted if customers were only allowed to spend certain amounts each day or week.
It’s also suggested that should the checks come into place, this will lead to a higher number of customers seeking out ‘black market’ betting operators, which will lead to its own issues.
The launched petition says “We want the Government to abandon the planned implementation of affordability checks for some people who want to place a bet.
“We believe such checks – which could include assessing whether people are ‘at risk of harm’ based on their postcode or job title – are inappropriate and discriminatory.”
Fighting back from the checks debate and the petition, the Commission are claiming that only 0.3% of betting accounts holders will be impacted, with the other 99.7% remaining unchecked.
As it stands there are just over 70,000 signatures, with the petition needing to reach 100,000 in order for it be be debated in Parliament.