Nevin Truesdale, CEO of The Jockey Club’s, is rallying opposition to the planned introduction of financial risk assessments for online gamblers in the UK with an online petition.
The petition, titled “Stop introducing betting affordability and financial risk checks,” was posted online on Wednesday. Until Friday 5pm UK time, The petition had more than 43,500 signatures.
When a petition reaches 100,000 signatures, it is considered for parliamentary debate.
The petition highlights a belief “in the freedom of individuals to decide how to spend their money,” Truesdale said.
Financial risk assessments were one of the many terms proposed in the White Paper reviewing the Gambling Act. The Gambling Commission completed a public consultation last month after receiving over 2,000 responses.
Media misinformation Expectations
However, the topic turned out to be extremely controversial.
In a recent speech, Commission chief Andrew Rhodes hit back at what he described as “misinformation” in the media about affordability tests.
Meanwhile, opposing opinions have been expressed on both sides of the debate. Last month Lord Lipsey, chairman of Premier Greyhound Racing, criticized the proposed controls for their potential impact on greyhound racing. However, gambling charity GamCare, which would welcome increased controls, is calling for tougher measures.
Current plans for financial risk assessments involve operators carrying out detailed affordability checks for players who lose £1,000 in 24 hours. Consumers who lose £2,000 within 90 days would face the same checks.
The plans will also require operators to carry out “passive” checks on players whose net monthly loss is more than £125 or £500 a year.
The petition says the controls are “inappropriate and discriminatory” and will push players onto the black market.
It adds that bettors may have to prove they can afford “their hobby” with losses of £1.37 a day. It accepts “the need to help people with gambling problems” but warns against “more intrusive controls triggered at a higher threshold”.
It also highlights potential negative impacts on UK horse racing finances due to a decline in betting turnover.