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UK Racing Industry Urge MPs to Drop Gambling Affordability Checks

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Racing industry stakeholders in the United Kingdom (UK) have made a final plea to MPs to drop the proposed plans for affordability checks that are part of a raft of changes presented in the White Paper on changes to UK gambling legislation. This comes as MPs in the UK Parliament are set to have a debate on financial checks on players this week.

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The debate in Parliament is taking place because an objection to the affordability checks was raised. Under parliamentary rules, once a petition has received more than 100,000 signatures then MPs are obliged to debate the matter. The petition was initiated by Nevin Truesdale, the Chief Executive of the Jockey Club in the UK, and all stakeholders in the racing industry came together to make sure the number of signatures required was easily reached.

One of the key concerns regarding intrusive financial checks on gamblers is the relatively low level at which gaming operators will be required to instigate the checks on their customers. The racing industry has calculated that under the new proposed legislation gamblers will be subjected to affordability checks if they lose an average of £1.37.

The Jockey Club has engaged with customers who say intrusive financial checks could lead to them stopping gambling or using illegal gaming services. It states that the loss of gambling revenue from customers who decide to leave the gambling market could result in the horseracing industry losing funding amounting to £50 million a year.

The racing industry has been supportive of the Government’s efforts to bring gambling regulation in line with the digital age. However, we strongly believe that the proposed one-size-fits-all ‘financial risk checks’ would not effectively help those at risk of gambling harm and could instead see people turn to unregulated betting markets in order to avoid intrusive checks.

Nevin TruesdaleChief Executive of the Jockey Club

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If the horseracing industry were to have a shortfall of £50 million per year the Jockey Club say this would have a devastating effect on those employed in the industry. There are high-profile roles, including trainers, jockeys, and breeders, that would be affected. However, there is a whole range of other businesses that rely on racing communities.

Such a large reduction in funding to racing could have huge knock-on implications, not just in reducing the amount of prize money on offer for participants who rely on racing for income but could also result in job losses. We want to work with the Government to ensure we can find a solution that effectively tackles gambling harm, and also protects the racing industry.

Nevin TruesdaleChief Executive of the Jockey Club

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