Nevin Truesdale, CEO of The Jockey Club’s is rallying opposition against the proposed implementation of financial risk checks on online gamblers in the UK through an online petition.
The petition, entitled ‘Stop the implementation of betting affordability/financial risk checks’, went live on Wednesday. By 5pm UK time on Friday, the petition had more than 43,500 signatures.
When a petition reaches 100,000 signatures, it is considered for a parliamentary debate.
The petition underlines belief “in the freedom of the individual to choose how to spend their money”, Truesdale stated.
Financial risk checks were one of the many terms put forward in the Gambling Act review white paper. The Gambling Commission concluded a public consultation last month after receiving over 2,000 responses.
Media misinformation claims
However, the subject has proved to be highly controversial.
In a recent speech, Commission chief Andrew Rhodes hit back at what he called “misinformation” in the media about affordability checks.
Meanwhile, there have been contrasting opinions aired on both sides of the debate. Last month, Premier Greyhound Racing chair Lord Lipsey slammed the proposed checks for their potential effects on greyhound racing. However, gambling charity GamCare, which said it would welcome enhanced checks, is calling for stricter measures.
Current plans for financial risk checks include operators carrying out detailed checks on affordability for players who lose £1,000 in 24 hours. Consumers who lose £2,000 over 90 days would face the same checks.
Plans also propose that operators perform “passive” checks on players with a monthly net loss beyond £125, or £500 per year.
The petition states that the checks are “inappropriate and discriminatory” and will push gamblers to the black market.
It adds that bettors may have to prove they can “afford their hobby” with losses of £1.37 per day. It accepts “the need to help those with problem gambling” but warns against “more intrusive checks triggered at a higher threshold”.
Additionally, it highlights a potentially negative impact on British horseracing finances due to a reduction in betting turnover.