Date: 17.04.2024

by Kajetan Sawicz

Last update: 08.05.2024 12:27

UK Government to Adjust Affordability Check Thresholds for Gamblers

The UK government is reportedly planning to increase the thresholds for affordability checks, a move aimed at moderating the financial oversight of gamblers, according to information from NEXT.io.

A source close to the matter shared that an interim industry code featuring these revised thresholds is expected to be announced later this week.

Controversy Surrounding Affordability Checks

Affordability checks are a significant point of contention detailed in a recent white paper, designed to trigger interventions when gamblers spend beyond set limits.

Critics argue that the stringent measures could render the hobby of responsible gamblers unsustainable and push them towards unregulated markets. In response to these concerns, the proposed amendments would see the thresholds increase from £2,000 in a 90-day period to £5,000, and from £25,000 to a higher annual limit before triggering mandatory checks.

Enhanced Measures for a Healthier Market

These revised thresholds represent a second tier of scrutiny, where gamblers would need to provide additional documentation, such as bank statements, to demonstrate their financial stability.

The initiative aims to mitigate gambling-related harm and fraud, ensuring a healthier betting environment while maintaining market vitality.

Testing New Grounds: UK’s Refined Affordability Checks Seek Balance Amid Racing Industry’s Concerns

The government’s objective is to implement these checks in a way that minimizes intrusion, countering the notion that such measures could deter frequent bettors.

According to Matt Zarb-Cousin, a safer gambling activist, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) plans to initially test these checks to fine-tune the process and make it as seamless as possible.

Despite these adjustments, the racing industry remains skeptical. Zarb-Cousin noted that opposing these reforms is a “strategic error” for racing stakeholders. He argues that resisting changes proposed in the white paper could alienate them from broader industry reforms that aim to safeguard participants and the financial health of the industry itself.

A spokesperson from the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has opted not to comment on the changes until they are officially announced. However, they reiterated the racing industry’s concern over the potential financial implications of restrictive measures on bettors.

 

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