With over 13,000 pitching in the UKGC’s public consultation on affordability checks, racing leaders fear that the measure may bleed the industry out of revenue and imperil it financially.
UKGC’s Submission Evidence to Upend the Gambling Industry
The Gambling Commission held a consultation on affordability checks which closed last week. Their call for evidence resulted in more than 13,000 responders sending in large amounts of evidence and submissions.
A spokesperson of the Gambling Commission responded by saying that they will keep those responses into account when they decide on what to do next with regards to affordability checks.
The aftermath of this event raises some issues however and the BHA, Racecourse Association and Horsemen’s Group, has responded with concerns about gamblers’ privacy as well as the impact on online gambling if those new legislations are set. The BHA is joining similar calls from another organization, the Horseracing Bettors Forum (HBF).
Several industry experts, including Nevin Truesdale and Martin Cruddace are predicting a worst-case scenario in which gambling firms will lose more than $100 million a year if those Affordability Checks are implemented. This number is higher than the previously $80 million reported by the UK Gambling Commission.
Conservative MP Laurence Robertson estimated that betting companies receive around $350 million per year from such contributions and any number lower than that would result in the financial ruin of existing companies and a wave of people flooding the black market.
Robertson stated that the commission and the gambling industry should work together to establish a working and risk-free plan to simultaneously help problem gamblers while avoiding financial losses for the industry. He also talked about the necessity for a solid framework that would safeguard consumers against leaving the regulated gambling market for offshore websites instead.
Gambling Ombudsman to look over the area
Social Market Foundation in return responded to those concerns by stating that the $100 a month ceiling should not be taken as concrete number and that it should work like an “Invisible Hand” that is confined to remote gambling alone.
SMF also stated that individual privacy and customer freedom will not be affected because gambling companies already have a large amount of data that can be used to help problem gamblers.
“In our report, we remained conscious of the debate about freedom in the market and the so-called ‘nanny state’. Once the threshold is crossed, we argue that enhanced customer due diligence checks should be conducted based on the data which is already held and the processes which are already carried out by individual operators. “Social Market Foundation
A gambling ombudsman should be created, suggested SMF. As part of their remit, the ombudsman would receive customer data and overlook the whole process, making informed decisions about future regulation.