April 16, 2024 2 min read

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UK to Raise Affordability Checks Thresholds, According to Rumors

According to Matt Zarb-Cousin, the government will announce an interim industry code featuring increased thresholds this week

The UK government is considering increasing the threshold for affordability checks, according to a report by NEXT.io. The news outlet discussed this with a person familiar with the matter who said that the government will announce an interim industry code featuring increased thresholds later this week.

The affordability checks are a controversial measure outlined in the white paper that would prompt interventions once a gambler overspends. However, some fear that these measures would make responsible gamblers’ hobby unsustainable and may even alienate them from the legal market.

This may have prompted the government to raise the thresholds for affordability checks from £2,000 for a 90-day period to £5,000. Additionally, spending over £25,000 a year would also prompt checks, according to reports.

These would be the second tier of checks which would require customers to upload bank statements or other documents to prove that they can afford their gambling. The measure seeks to prevent gambling harm and gambling-related fraud and ensure a healthier market.

The government’s goal is to make the checks as non-intrusive as possible, in spite of claims that they would turn off bettors.

The Racing Industry Remains Opposed to the Checks

In any case, the UK regulator agreed to first test the affordability checks before their wide implementation. Matt Zarb-Cousin, a safer gambling activist, commented on the matter with NEXT.io, explaining that the pilot program would probe the market and learn how to calibrate data-sharing practices and make the process as frictionless as possible.

The size of the thresholds, according to Zarb-Cousin, would be set through the UKGC’s Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice. He added that this will not be a political decision unless the government decides to distance itself from the white paper.  

Zarb-Cousin also commented on the UK horse racing industry’s activism against the measures, saying that this decision is a “strategic error.” By choosing to oppose the changes outlined in the white paper, the racing stakeholders are effectively opposing the ongoing reforms.

For reference, the racing industry is concerned that any significant changes to the market may deprive it of crucial money.

A BHA spokesperson declined to comment on the rumored higher thresholds before they are made official. However, the spokesperson reiterated the industry’s concerns about the restrictions placed on punters.

Journalist

Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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