BGC Calls for the Implementation of Frictionless Affordability Checks

BGC Calls for the Implementation of Frictionless Affordability Checks

BGC Calls for the Implementation of Frictionless Affordability ChecksIn light of a recent announcement by the UK Government that a debate on the Gambling Act White Paper proposal for financial risk checks is set to take place on February 26th, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has urged the Government to ensure that such checks remain frictionless and unintrusive for bettors.

The original proposal, if passed, will dictate that gambling companies will be required to perform affordability checks on individuals who incur moderate net losses from gambling. Should a client like this be detected, operators would need to take the necessary steps to intervene and prevent them from sustaining additional losses and falling victim to problem gambling. The Government estimates that, on a yearly basis, a mere 20% of client accounts will trigger such checks.

A petition organised by Nevin Truesdale, CEO of The Jockey Club, sought to prevent the UK Government from moving forward with plans to pass this measure. As it amassed over 100,000 signatures, the petition prompted the Government to schedule a debate on the matter. Opponents of the proposal argued that it could lead to discrimination and that the British horse racing industry could suffer financially.

According to BGC CEO Michael Dugher, the organisation is in support of the checks, but he also noted that caution will need to be exercised in order to ensure that the checks will be truly frictionless and that they will only affect those at risk of gambling harm. Dugher stressed that most individuals who partake in betting do so without encountering any issues or threats to their safety and that checks that are too intrusive could push them to the unregulated gambling market. Given the nature of unlicensed websites, this would be detrimental to both consumer safety and the financial stability of horse racing and other UK sports. Dugher continued, commending The Jockey Club for kick-starting parliamentary discussion on the matter.

Sports Betting is of Crucial Importance to UK Sport

Sports Betting is of Crucial Importance to UK SportOn January 16th, the Betting and Gaming Council did not neglect to outline how sports betting contributes towards horse racing and the economy as a whole. In 2022, horse racing benefited from a sum of around £384 million thanks to sportsbooks’ commitment to securing sponsorship deals and paying a reasonable levy. In addition, the economy has seen a contribution of £7.1 billion from gambling, and a tax figure of £4.2 billion has also been generated. At present, the gambling industry has also secured 110,000 job positions.

An emphasis was also placed on just how small of a percentage of individuals suffer from gambling harm in comparison to those who do not. According to the BGC, 22.5 million UK adults place bets on a monthly basis, and as revealed in a recently conducted Health Survey for England, around 0.4% of adults are struggling with gambling harm.

Last week, Julie Harrington, who serves as CEO of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), issued a statement in which she also expressed approval of the fact that the issue will be subject to parliamentary debate. Like Dugher, Harrington recognised that protecting punters from problem gambling is crucial, yet emphasised that sports betting and horse racing are enjoyable activities for millions of individuals who do not face any issues pertaining to problem gambling.

Daniel Williams

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.

Daniel Williams

Author: Jerry Lewis