Andrew Black, one of the founders of the international gambling business Betfair, has shared some concerns that none of the seven new commissioners who were appointed to the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) earlier this week has a background in gambling.
Mr Black, who is also the Chasemore Farm breeding operation’s owner, has previously scolded the way the commission’s board is formed, saying that the lack of experience in the gambling industry would mean the members’ “commonality of thinking” would not be aligned in any way with the sector. According to him, this makes them unfit for purposes of the UKGC because they lack a broader understanding of the industry and they would only have a narrow perspective of how things work.
Earlier this week, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced that seven new members were appointed to the country’s gambling regulator. At the time, it became clear that while the commissioners had expertise in several fields, such as health, regulation, law, the civil service, and the financial service, none of them had been linked to the gambling industry before.
In September, the UK gambling watchdog announced the establishment of a new Industry Forum consisting of representatives of gambling industry operators. At the time, the regulatory body’s chair Marcus Boyle noted that the Forum would provide them with another way to work with representatives of the gambling industry.
Proposed Affordability Checks Could Pose Serious Threat to the Regulated British Gambling and Racing Sector, Insiders Say
At the same time, polling carried out by YouGov on behalf of the Gamblers Consumer Forum (GCF) pressure group has found that more than 50% of the survey respondents believe there is a risk that the proposed affordability checks would result in an increase in local customers’ activity on the black unregulated market.
In October, a consultation held by the UK Gambling Commission on controversial affordability checks came to an end.
As previously reported by Casino Guardian, executives and other leading figures from the British racing sector have shared their fears that an increased crackdown on the sector in the fact of affordability checks could cost the industry about £250 million over the next five years. The chief executive officer of the country’s gambling regulatory body, Andrew Rhodes, has also acknowledged there is a certain risk for a boost in the activity on the black market but has also said that the threat was overstated.
According to the results of the aforementioned YouGov polling, 53% of the people who took part in the survey believed there was a significant or major risk that proposed affordability checks would push local customers to gamble with unlicensed and unregulated operators.
Abbie MacGregor, the head of communications at the Gamblers Consumer Forum, noted that the survey had brought to light the suspicions many people already have in regard to controversial affordability checks. She further explained that more than 50% of the UK population shares the concerns that had been already stated by many people in the British racing community and there was no longer any doubt that the black market could pose a very real threat to the regulated gambling sector.
Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.