February 29, 2024 3 min read


BHA Joins Ongoing Discussions on Affordability Checks

The British Horseracing Authority joined the ongoing debate on the proposed spending checks as a part of the upcoming changes to the gambling industry in the UK

Amid plans for major changes to the gambling industry in the UK, the implementation of affordability checks remains one of the most controversial topics. On one side, the government seeks to overhaul the gambling regulations in the country, making them suitable for the digital age and ensuring the protection of the players in light of the expansion of the iGaming vertical. On the other side is the racing, betting and gambling sector with operators showing concerns that intrusive rules to the industry may drive consumers to illegal gambling.

Earlier this week, an important debate on the affordability checks took place. The debate was the result of a petition that gathered more than 100,000 signatures, requiring MPs to discuss the proposed spending checks and hear the position of the racing and gaming industry. The effort was led by Nevin Truesdale, Jockey Club’s CEO, and resulted in a meeting where MPs heard different opinions regarding the proposed affordability checks.

Following the debate, Julie Harrington, the British Horseracing Authority’s chief executive, released a statement, joining the ongoing discussion regarding the upcoming changes to the gambling industry. She revealed that it is vital for the proposed changes to undergo further discussion, adding that the high interest in the debate was encouraging.

The Government Needs to Protect the British Racing Industry

Harrington spoke about the clear message delivered by MPs from all parties that the UK government needs to protect and support the racing sector. “If our sport is to remain a healthy industry, supporting jobs in the rural economy and remaining competitive with our international rivals, we hope that Government will heed this advice,” she added. Moreover, Harrington said that it is encouraging to see Sports Minister Stuart Andrew agree that the enhanced affordability checks can undergo a genuine pilot prior to implementation.

Many MPs made valuable contributions to the debate, and we are sure that Sports Minister Stuart Andrew will have listened with interest to the views expressed. From MPs of all parties and all sides of the debate, there was a clear recognition of the need for the Government to protect and support British racing when reviewing gambling legislation.

Julie Harrington, chief executive of the BHA

Harrington confirmed that the BHA will continue to collaborate with the government and support the careful implementation of regulatory changes that affect the racing industry and its customers.

In light of the ongoing discussion, Felix Faulkner, solicitor at Poppleston Allen, revealed that affordability checks may cause friction. He explained that the implementation of effective checks for affordable spending on gambling is going to be difficult. Faulkner raised concerns about how such checks can be conducted in a short time, pointing to cases of wagering in the minutes ahead of the start of a horse race as an example.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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