Nevin Truesdale’s petition against the United Kingdom’s proposed affordability checks has gained significant traction, reaching its target of 100,000 signatures in December. As a result, the issue will now be discussed by British MPs next month.
The affordability checks are part of the measures outlined in the Gambling Act white paper, aiming to introduce frictionless checks to monitor customer spending and flag markers of problem gambling. The United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission (UKGC) has reassured the public that these checks will not affect the majority of gamblers in the UK, emphasizing that much of the public perception of the measure is skewed by “intentional efforts” to mislead.
Despite these reassurances, many still believe that the checks would be intrusive and make gambling unsustainable for enthusiasts. Nevin Truesdale, CEO of the Jockey Club, has criticized the checks as “inappropriate and discriminatory,” warning that they could drive people towards the black betting market.
The Petitions Committee, comprised of 11 cross-party MPs, is set to discuss the issue on February 26. Nevin Truesdale commended the committee for agreeing to discuss his petition, highlighting the industry’s united opposition to the perceived unfairness of the checks. He expressed confidence that solutions could be found to address problem gambling without impacting regular, risk-free players.
Julie Harrington, CEO of the British Horseracing Authority, also voiced her support for opposing the affordability checks, emphasizing the potential harm they could cause to recreational bettors and the horse racing industry.
The debate on the affordability checks is set to take place at Westminster Hall, providing an opportunity for industry stakeholders and supporters to make their voices heard on the matter.