New affordability checks to help horse racing problem gamblers

  • Updated
  • By Hannah Timoney
Affordability checks in race betting
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There is currently an anonymous letter addressed to MPs circulating in the horse racing world. This letter addresses concerns over the possible implementation of affordability checks in horse race gambling. 

The author is unknown, but claims a rethink on the betting reforms is necessary. They suggest the sport could face a £60m hit if the currently proposed reforms go ahead.

These reforms come as the UK Government reviews the Gambling Act of 2005, with the Gambling Commission recently extending the deadline for feedback until the 9th February 2021, having experienced high engagement since a call for evidence and consultation began in November 2020.

The letter also suggests that horse race betting needs to be treated differently to that of online casino gambling because of the ‘skill’ required, and because it is less likely to lead to problem gambling.

The letter reads “I am reliably informed the proposals put forward by the Gambling Commission could result in more than £60m in direct losses to the British racing industry from reduced Horserace Betting Levy and media rights income. This would be amplified many times over through the wider rural economy and potentially lead to racecourses closing.”

I do not share the concerns of the anonymous author. Affordability checks will serve to protect potential problem gamblers by ensuring they can afford their gambling, and it is the responsibility of any betting institution to protect their players. 

If the horse race industry faces a loss of £60m with the implementation of affordability checks there is a wider issue of problem gambling in the horse racing industry that needs to be addressed. Problem gambling or gambling beyond your means is a serious issue, and the implementation of affordability checks help to ensure gamblers do so responsibly. 

Here at OnlineBingo we are committed to promoting Safer Gambling. For further information on safe gambling practices, find our Safer Gambling hub page here.