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BGC Pushes for Targeted Financial Checks as UK Government Promised

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The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the representative body of gambling stakeholders, has released a statement calling on the United Kingdom (UK) government to make good on its commitment to make sure financial checks on punters are frictionless.

The UK government is in the process of amending gambling legislation in the region and has introduced a White Paper containing proposed amendments, which has been put out to industry stakeholders for a consultation process.

One of the proposed amendments is that gaming operators will be required to undertake affordability checks on their customers.

There has been widespread opposition from those within the gaming industry against arbitrary affordability financial checks for all gamblers in the UK, with stakeholders arguing that these checks should be restricted to players who have shown signs of gambling in an irresponsible way.

Ministers promised Parliament that checks would be frictionless. They now need to honor that commitment and will the means. At the BGC, we supported enhanced checks for online gambling but have been clear throughout that checks should be carefully targeted on those showing signs of problem gambling or those who are at risk of harm so operators can use technology to take swift action. They must also remain frictionless for the vast majority, as punters have repeatedly made clear they will not submit to intrusive checks.

Michael DugherCEO of Betting and Gaming Council

Petition Passed Number Required for Parliamentary Debate

The Jockey Club and Racing media in the gaming industry have been instrumental in organizing a petition against the mandatory affordability checks that are set out in the UK White Paper. Once a petition has reached more than 100,000 signatures, it is mandatory for the UK parliament to debate the issue. This number was easily reached, and the date for the debate has been set to take place on the 24th of February.

The BGC has outlined several issues with carrying out affordability checks on all clients registered with a gaming operator. These include the majority of customers gambling responsibly, and research shows a large number of gamblers object to affordability checks, which could lead to many punters choosing to bet with unregulated operators.

The overwhelming majority bet perfectly safely and responsibly, and it is crucial no check is introduced that risks driving these punters to the unsafe, unregulated black market online. These sites have none of the standards or protections offered by BGC members and they make no contribution either to the Exchequer or sports like horse racing.

Michael DugherCEO of Betting and Gaming Council

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